The South Australian Government has announced the official opening of the Adelaide Desalination Plant, with Premier Jay Weatherill describing the plant as an ‘insurance policy against future droughts’.

The has been producing drinking water since October 2011, and was handed over for operation in December last year to begin its 24-month providing period.

The plant has the ability to produce up to 100 billion litres of drinking water per year or up to half of Adelaide’s current drinking water needs.

“We’re in the driest State on the driest inhabited continent and we’ve always had to make the most of limited water supplies,” Mr Weatherill said.

“For the first time since 1836 we can say with confidence we have guaranteed Adelaide’s water security.”

The plant has already produced 15 billion litres of drinking water for Adelaide, while also signing on to provide 120 gigalires over 10 years to environmental water reserves.

The $1.8 billion plant was constructed with a $328 million contribution by the State Government