Environmental commitments

Environmental commitments

We protect and improve our environments and our water delivery for today and tomorrow. Our mindset is focused on sustainable practice and good environmental management, always looking to minimise and reduce the impact of our work, and to seek positive environmental outcomes.

Being a responsible custodian of water resources means finding that delicate balance – providing services and minimising adverse impacts on the environment. We have teams of specialists whose input and environmental knowledge ensures local environments are respected and protected.

Our key commitments include:

  1. Promoting conservation and source water protection through effective land management
  2. Using our natural resources efficiently
  3. Effectively preventing and managing sewage (wastewater) overflows
  4. Minimise discharges from our wastewater treatment plants
  5. Effectively manage biosolids and hazardous wastes
  6. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change

Sustainable development goals

We are a signatory to the Australian water industry’s commitment to support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations General Assembly, and a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

Here are four programs of how we’re putting that commitment into action:

1. Improving the quality and reliability of drinking water in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytijatjara (APY lands) in north-western South Australia.

2. Providing free drinking water fountains across the state and encouraging reusable drink bottles through our BYOB program

3. Supporting community partnerships that share our vision of water management, education and conservation. This ranges from projects to build green spaces in our community, clearing marine debris from beaches, rivers and creeks, restoring the stonework of the Beltana Weir to protect a local community’s dam, building water-wise wicking beds to grow fresh food and vegetables or promoting sustainable gardening practices at community festivals.

4. Creating a zero cost energy future through solar-powered water treatment plants.

Environmental impact and climate change

The South Australian community values environmental protection, and we rely on a healthy environment for sourcing the best, most cost-efficient water for you.

We want our impact on the environment to be positive. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to do more.

When planning works, we undertake environmental and heritage assessments. These are used to identify potential impacts on the environment during design and construction. For many of our projects, we build environmental management into the planning stage with early project input and dedicated environmental management plans.

We are committed to responding effectively to climate change, through our climate change strategy. It touches on all aspects of our business with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, and contributing to climate change research. Supplying water from recycled and desalinated sources are just two ways we are future-proofing your water.

We have been measuring our overall greenhouse gas emissions for nearly 20 years, and report this data to the Federal government every year. This helps us manage our greenhouse gas emissions to stay on track to meet our reduction target of less than 40 per cent of 1990s greenhouse gas emission levels by 31 December 2050.

Reducing our Bolivar emissions and changing global climate change policy

Our work to apply groundbreaking research to reduce emissions at Bolivar is globally-recognised as a benchmark for wastewater treatment plants.

We have reduced our nitrous oxide emissions by 30 per cent, which also led to further plant improvements and energy savings. This research partnership has not only reduced our emissions footprint, we are now impacting international climate change policy.

Environmental compliance and performance

Compliance with Environmental Protection obligations (including water resources)

This measure tracks formal notifications from regulators confirming breaches under 9 pieces of legislation. These include:

  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999
  • Water Act 2007
  • Natural Resources Management (NRM) Act 2004
  • Environment Protection Act 1993
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
  • Heritage Places Act 1993
  • Native Vegetation Act 1991
  • Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007
  • Development Act 1993

In the 2019-20 period SA Water achieved a result of 98.1% compliance against environmental legislation relevant to the business. During this period SA Water received two notices from the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) for the following:

In October 2019, DEW issued SA Water with a Direction Notice to repair/replace a faulty water meter at Beachport bore 4, as it is a condition of the water licence to take water through a meter. The meter was replaced and is operational. No further action undertaken by DEW.

In June 2020, DEW issued SA Water with a formal warning for failing to submit a meter reading within the timeframe specified in the conditions of the water licence. No penalty was incurred.

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Grote St
  • Adelaide
  • 10/08/2020
  • Water Supply Interrupted
  • Last Updated: 10/08/2020 05:01 PM - We are on site in Adelaide and the nearby water supply may be unavailable until 10/08/2020 07:15 PM. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring supply as safely and quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07590214.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Halifax St
  • Adelaide
  • 10/08/2020
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 12/08/2020 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 12/08/2020 06:00 PM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Adelaide. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.


  • See all scheduled works