Adelaide Desalination Plant
The Adelaide Desalination Plant has significantly contributed to future proofing safe, clean drinking water for the local community.

Located at Lonsdale, approximately 26 km south of Adelaide, the $1.8b 100 GL desalination plant delivers up to 100 billion litres of water each year, half of Adelaide’s water supply when operating at capacity.


More than one million residents and commercial offices in Adelaide are dependent on the Murray River for potable water supply. In recent years, the Murray-Darling Basin has experienced low-flow water volumes due to climate change and severe drought in south-eastern Australia.


Water Security Plan for the future

This plant is part of South Australia’s water security plan ‘Water for Good’, which was released in June 2009 and intends to secure the state’s water future to 2050 and beyond.

The desalination plant featured a staged construction with two identical 50 GL per year plants serviced by common intake and outfall systems, wastewater treatment and chemical and lime dosing chlorine facilities.


The plant storage consists of two 25 ML tanks that transfers water to South Australia water’s Happy Valley reservoir site for interconnection to the Adelaide distribution system. The plant also comprises of a transfer pumping station, transfer pipeline and a visitor centre.

Our Role

SMEC was responsible for the detailed design of all non-process components of the project including architectural, civil, structural, building, geotechnical, marine, tunnels, earthworks, drainage, underground services, environmental and landscape design.


Water for the community

The Adelaide Desalination Plant has been operating since 2012, and has significantly contributed to future proofing safe, clean drinking water for the community.


Talk to one of our specialists about our role on Adelaide Desalination Plant.