Safer and more reliable water supply for Darwin a step closer


A safer, more reliable and more sustainable water supply in the Darwin region is a step closer with the completion of the Adelaide River Off-Stream Water Storage (AROWS) detailed business case.

The detailed business case investigated the two short-listed options identified in the preliminary assessment to meet the Darwin region’s future water supply requirements.

This included assessing market demand and infrastructure needs for the project to best support water security and economic development in the Darwin region.

After a comprehensive assessment, Manton Dam Return to Service (RTS) and AROWS were identified as the recommended infrastructure solutions, to be developed in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: Manton Dam Return to Service - short-term water supply with a development timeframe of 3 to 4 years, and
  • Stage 2: AROWS - long-term water supply, with a development timeframe of 7 to 10 years.

Manton Dam RTS and AROWS are an economically viable solution to provide water security to the Darwin region for the next 50 years and beyond.

The Northern Territory (NT) Government has accepted the findings of this report and will continue to work closely with the Australian Government and the Power and Water Corporation to realise the opportunities that additional water supply can deliver.

The NT Government is working with Power and Water to progress project development for both projects.

For Manton Dam RTS, this includes detailed design of the infrastructure components, further stakeholder engagement and assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the project.

For AROWS, this includes commencement of a range of activities that will support development of the project. These include a water allocation plan for the Adelaide River catchment, an environment impact assessment, stakeholder engagement and community consultation, and concept design of the infrastructure components.

The Australian Government provided $2 million to fully fund the AROWS detailed business case under the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund, which is improving Australia’s water security while creating jobs and boosting economic activity.

For more information on the detailed business case, go to the Water Security website.

Aerial view of a river

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