Research focus: Water for Industry

In this research theme, techniques were developed to promote equitable water sharing in multi-use catchments and in remote regions of the State.

The work developed sustainable water management practices for communities and industries that are heavily reliant on safe and secure water supplies such as food, wine, forestry and mining.

Research projects concentrated on a number of issues including:

There are two major areas of investment under this theme:

  1. Water Allocation Planning and Water Quality Improvement
  2. Mining and Outback Water

In partnership with the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, the Goyder Institute also investigated new opportunities to reuse treated wastewater for irrigation to support effective and efficient use of our water resources to underpin a productive agricultural industry.

This research produced a series of reports, publications and research materials:


This project focused on data-poor areas of arid South Australia, and made advances using a range of scientific methods to better understand the water resources of arid inland South Australia. G‐FLOWS‐1 has used multiple data sources to bring together a comprehensive current conceptual model of hydrogeology in the Musgrave Province. This harnessed remotely‐sensed datasets, with on‐ground and borehole measurements, to provide a much greater sense of the subsurface variability in the area. Specifically the G-FLOWS 1 project:

The findings of this project are detailed in Technical Report 13/13


The Goyder Institute G-FLOWS 2 (Finding Long-term Outback Water Solutions) project increased our knowledge about the character and variability of outback groundwater resources, the sustainability of those resources and their relationship to environmental and cultural assets. The outcomes of this project have enabled prudent decision making and policies regarding water allocation, accounting, licensing and sustainable yields whilst ensuring groundwater-dependent ecosystems and environmental assets are protected.

This work also assisted in the development of water supplies for remote Far North communities by identifying alternate groundwater sources to improve water supply security.

To date, our research has developed methodologies to interpret airborne geophysics that can locate new groundwater sources from existing information. These methodologies are now being tested and evaluated in case study locations in the Northern Eyre Peninsula.

Recycled Water and Salinity

This project demonstrated the economic and environmental value of using recycled water to irrigate South Australia’s food and wine crops.

Co-funded by the Goyder Institute for Water Research and the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, the project is a collaboration between SARDI, the University of Adelaide and local viticulture and horticulture businesses.

Trials on almond orchards used mixtures of recycled water and freshwater to identify the most salt sensitive growth stages of almond trees.

Vineyard trials tested whether various rainfall redirection treatments reduced salinity pressure on vines and assessed the benefits of constructing raised mounds in the mid-row.

Based on the success of these trials, the horticulture industry could expand its use of recycled water schemes for precision crop irrigation in other dry regions and improve management of soil salinity.

More information about the project can be found at the SARDI website

The final report from this project is available here.

Adelaide Plains Groundwater Assessment

Adelaide residents have long made use of groundwater, historically by drawing water from backyard bores, however substantial quantities of water lie beneath Adelaide which can be used more effectively by updating our knowledge about this valuable resource.

Funded by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, this two-year project mapped the aquifers beneath Adelaide to provide a comprehensive understanding of the quantity and quality of water within them. It also assessed the likely impacts of a changing climate and increasing population, and informed future water planning.

Local manufacturing industries and many market gardeners in the northern suburbs rely on a steady supply of groundwater from deep aquifers to operate, highlighting how important groundwater is to South Australia’s economy.

The project improved our knowledge of how much water:

Research was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and was supported by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.

Read more about this project here.

Marine Park Regional Impact Assessment Statements

Sanctuary Zones Regional Impact Assessment Statement: Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Wakefield

Sanctuary zones are high conservation areas in marine parks, protecting the feeding, breeding, nursery and resting areas of marine species important to South Australia. From 1 October 2014, fishing was prohibited in sanctuary zones, ensuring the full protection of these important environments, while low-impact recreation activities, such as scuba diving, surfing and swimming are still allowed.

With the introduction of fishing restrictions in marine park sanctuary zones, the State Government committed to preparing Regional Impact Assessment Statements for Port Wakefield, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island to investigate any social and economic impacts from the implementation of this legislation by the 1st October 2015.

The Goyder Institute, in conjunction with its research partners, in particular the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES), undertook the important task of preparing the social and economic aspects of the Regional Impact Assessment Statements for Port Wakefield, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island.

The SACES research team sourced a range of available social and economic data to prepare these assessments. In addition, individuals and businesses in these regional communities provided feedback through formal submissions, surveys and face-to-face meetings between February and April 2015 to ensure local experiences were incorporated into the assessment process. 

The report Sanctuary Zones Regional Impact Assessment Statement: Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Wakefield prepared by SACES, provides the outcomes of the social and economic analysis undertaken by the Goyder Institute.

Further information regarding Marine Parks in South Australia can be found at

Northern Adelaide Plains Water Resources Stocktake

The Northern Adelaide Plains is a major producer of fresh food in South Australia. Growing global demand for food presents a large economic opportunity but requires greater certainty on available water. Undertaking a stocktake of existing information regarding the regions current and future water supply and demand supported sustainable economic development of the region.


The Goyder Institute for Water Research undertook a stocktake of the available water resource information of the greater Northern Adelaide region. The purpose of this stocktake was to consolidate the understanding of the existing and potential water available that could support regional economic development. The project focused on spects of water quantity, quality and constraints.

For more information, download the Northern Adelaide Plains Water Resources Stocktake factsheet.

The Technical Report 16/5 Northern Adelaide Plains Water Stocktake is available together with the spatial data layers that can be accessed via