How do we get our water?

Freshwater accounts for around three percent of the total water found on our planet. The remaining 97 percent is in our oceans.

Roughly two thirds of Earth’s freshwater is locked up as ice. The remaining freshwater is available as groundwater, surface water (lakes ponds, rivers etc) and clouds.

South Australia is the driest state in Australia with West Torrens receiving on average 452mm of rain annually.


Mains water source

Potable (drinkable) water from your tap is sourced, treated and distributed by SA Water. 

The average South Australian home uses 190,000 litres annually (2008/09 consumption).

Potable water distributed by SAWater is sourced from:

  • the Adelaide Hills Reservoirs
  • the River Murray
  • the desalination plant.


In a normal rainfall year

Up to 60 percent of mains water comes from the Adelaide Hills catchment.

View current reservoir levels.

In dry years

Up to 90 percent of potable water comes from the River Murray. View the current river levels.


The desalination plant

The new desalination plant is expected to contribute around 50 Gigalitres of water to Adelaide’s drinking water supply.

Find out more about the desalination plant.

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