Adelaide Desal Aerial view

Adelaide Desalination Plant

Securing South Australia’s current and future water needs.

Water is a vital part of every economy, community and environment around the world. Water security means having an affordable and acceptable quantity and quality of water for people, communities, industry and the environment, now and into the future.  

The sea is an important source of water for South Australia and has 2 seawater desalination plants. Built in 2012, the desalination plant at Lonsdale is the largest of these with a capacity of 100 gigalitres per year. Importantly, it is Adelaide’s only source of drinking water that comes from a source that doesn’t rely on climate.  

Following the devastating Millennium Drought between 2001 and 2009, the Adelaide Desalination Plant was built to provide secure sources of water to Adelaide, regardless of climatic conditions. The desalination plant reduces reliance on inflows to reservoirs in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Murray-Darling Basin catchments by delivering a supply of 100 gigalitres of potable water each year. The project comprised two 50 gigalitre Reverse Osmosis plants and two underground tunnels for seawater intake and return to the sea. 

With our extensive experience in complex engineering and marine environments, The APP Group was appointed as an Independent Verifier for the construction of the Adelaide Desalination Plant. The design included two identical 50GL process plants, with two undersea tunnels for intake and outfall streams. The complex design also included landside shafts, interconnecting tunnels, an underground pump station, sub-marine tunnel connections, sea-floor risers and a marine intake structure and outfall diffusers.  

Our team’s expertise in desalination, tunnels created by Tunnel Boring Machines, marine works and more to deliver verification that the design and construction had met all the requirements of the contract. The work included checking quality, project and design management, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, reliability, operations, maintenance and Health Safety and Environment management and compliance.

We were jointly appointed by SA Water and AdelaideAqua D&C Consortium, and selected for our depth of experience and verification expertise.

SA Water, Adelaide Aqua D&C Consortium
Adelaide, South Australia
Project status
Completed in 2013
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