Bunyip Water is the developer and operator of a harvested stormwater scheme extending from the Gawler River to the western Barossa Valley.

A bunyip is a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.

It’s easy to imagine a few bunyips in the Gawler River being very pleased that some of the big flows caused by urban development will be harnessed for beneficial re-use to help their cousins in the River Murray.


Bunyip Water Pty Ltd (“BW”) has been formed to build and operate the Gawler Water Reuse Scheme (“GWRS”). Procurement of the scheme infrastructure is funded by a $21.4m loan from the Light Regional Council which includes $10.7m in funding from the Australian Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan.

The water infrastructure will substitute at least 800ML/annum of River Murray water in the Barossa with urban stormwater harvested from the Gawler River. The scheme will improve primary production for viticulture in the Barossa region. The scheme will also provide water for urban use in parks and schools in and around Hewett ( ~50 ML/annum).

The scheme has authorisation to harvest up to 1,600 ML/annum from Gawler River flows above an environmental threshold. Water will primarily be stored in dams, but a Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) trial is included to assess future expansion. Further information can be found on the Light Regional Council web site, www.light.sa.gov.au and then follow the link under the article titled Gawler Water Reuse Publication.

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