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Water

McLaren Vale was the first region in Australia to declare and manage its underground water resource so that it is self-replenishing.

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© Copyright McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association
McLaren Vale built the first and largest reclaimed water network in Australia so that 100% of all irrigation used in our region is now from a sustainable resource other than river water.

There are three main sources of water in McLaren Vale which are important to irrigated grape production. Traditionally the main sources have been groundwater aquifers in the Willunga Basin and surface catchment dams, where water is collected and stored from natural run-off. Sprinkler or flood irrigation has not been used in McLaren Vale for over 30 years.

In recent years, a third resource has been introduced: treated reclaimed water which is piped into our region from the Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant and Willunga Basin Water Company in the Aldinga area. The use of recycled water is very important to the sustainability of natural water resources as it takes significant pressure off the natural groundwater.

Uptake and use of moisture monitoring technology for making informed irrigation management decisions is a touchstone for our region.