Water Journal : Water Journal September 2012-1
feature article 46 SEPTEMBER 2012 water feature articles Water is South Australia's most precious resource and is critical to the state's future prosperity, as it underpins future growth in the population and the economy. Innovative, long- term solutions had to be found to deliver the flexibility and reliability of water supply that is essential to meeting existing and future demand, as well as ensuring water security during prolonged droughts. Through the SA Government's Water for Good strategy, a significant commitment to invest in a suite of water security measures has been made to improve Adelaide's water supply network. Critical to this strategy is the $403 million North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP), one of SA Water's largest infrastructure projects to date. In the past, the northern and southern water supply systems generally operated separately and most suburbs were able to rely on only one water supply system to meet their needs during peak demand periods. The interconnection of these two drinking water systems was identified as essential to allow for the delivery of water from all of Adelaide's water resources (the reservoirs, the River Murray and the new desalination plant) to all metropolitan customers. The NSISP integrates metropolitan Adelaide's drinking water network into one flexible water delivery system. This means that climate-independent water produced by the Adelaide Desalination Plant can be delivered across the metropolitan system, ensuring a secure water supply for the future. The NSISP also offers the network flexibility to manage the effects of drought, population growth and any failures within the system. The project consists of a number of complex works including the construction of four major pipelines totalling 32 kilometres in length, with large-diameter pipe works constructed along main arterial roads as well as residential streets and open space corridors. Other project works include the construction of three new pump stations in the residential suburbs of Wattle Park, Clapham and Gilberton and the delivery of three valve stations, one in Gulfview Heights, one at Seacliff and one at Hope Valley. Community and Stakeholder Engagement Initially the NSISP Project Team faced negative, emotional community reaction, a situation that had to be turned around within weeks due to non-negotiable project deadlines. The required project approvals could not be obtained without community support, so public participation was needed to educate the community about the necessity of interconnection, and to identify measures to remove or reduce impacts of the project on residents and businesses. The Minister for Water, Paul Caica, made a public commitment to engage the community in the planning and construction of the NSISP. Meanwhile, SA Water's Stakeholder Engagement Manager, along with the Project Director, made it a priority to understand the community's perspective and better engage with those most impacted by the infrastructure works. They attended and facilitated over 100 community forums and meetings, listening to the issues and identifying integrated planning solutions to deliver acceptable community outcomes. This involved door-knocking every home and business along the 32 kilometres of pipeline routes to identify any special needs during the construction. It also helped to ensure that the community knew how to contact SA Water and the construction contractor teams for further information. Over the course of the project so far approximately 5,000 individual properties have been door-knocked, 48,500 outgoing letters have been sent and 2,400 phone calls received by the information hotline. SA Water worked closely with businesses in areas where construction works took place to minimise the effect of activities as much as practicably possible. The stakeholder engagement team, together with the contractors, collaborated with business owners on an ongoing basis to minimise construction impacts, including undertaking night works where necessary. Community Reference Groups were established for above- ground infrastructure sites. These groups worked collaboratively with SA Water to determine a unique look for each building, A Community Connection When SA Water proposed its $403 million North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP) to improve Adelaide's water security it was clear that public acceptance was crucial to its implementation. They achieved cooperation through a series of meaningful consultations and engagement with affected communities, including door-knocking over 5,000 properties. An architect's impression of the Gilberton Pump Station.
Water Journal November 2012-1
Water Journal August 2012