The Adelaide Desalination Project

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The PMI Project of the Year for 2013 was won by the South Australia Water Corporation for the Adelaide Desalination Project. This project was performed to raise Adelaide out of its worst droughts. It was also completed ahead of schedule and within budget. Though the project ran into some uncertainties even before its start, due to some exceptional management practices followed by the Project Director and his team, the project was a resounding success. This report studies some of the key aspects that led to the success of this project and it eventually winning the coveted PMI Project of the Year Award.


The Project that won the Project Management Institute’s Award for the year 2013 was the Adelaide Desalination Project Adelaide, Australia by the SA Water Corporation. South Australia, as the "driest state in the driest inhabited continent", experienced severe water shortages during periods of drought. As drought conditions worsened during 2006-2007, reduced inflow into the River Murray lead to the introduction of harsher water restrictions. The need for climate-independent sources of drinking water was clear to government leaders and residents. The South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water) responded with a plan to build an AU$1.8 billion desalination plant in Adelaide. Launched in February of 2008, the project originally aimed to construct a 50-gigaliter seawater desalination facility with the capacity to meet 25 percent of Adelaide’s annual water needs. Their goal was to complete the entire project by June 2012.

Following exceptional ethical management practices is a very important aspect for the success of a project. The Project Director of the Adelaide Desalination Project, Milind Kumar, his team and the organization were responsible…...

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