Salinity zoning policy and boundaries

Salinity zoning policy

A zoning policy has been developed to implement the salinity management provisions in the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse.

The policy relates to applications for site use approvals. This is the approval required to permit the application of water to land for the purpose of irrigation within the River Murray Irrigation Management Zone. Find further information on site use approvals

The policy is administered through a series of salinity impact zones that define areas of varying impact to future River Murray salinity levels. There are three zones: 

  • low salinity impact zone
  • high salinity impact zone
  • high salinity impact (salt interception) zone. 

Within each salinity zone there is a set of rules that determine whether an application for a new site use approval or variation to an existing site use approval can be granted.

Site use approval applications may be approved within: 

  • the low salinity impact zone if the salinity impacts can be offset by salinity credits available to South Australia
  • a high salinity impact (salt interception) zone if the salinity impacts can be offset by available salinity credits allocated to South Australia to reflect the state’s share of the capacity of a salt interception scheme servicing that zone
  • the high salinity impact zone if: 
    • the salinity impacts are offset by a reduction in the volume of water registered for irrigation on another site use approval located within the high salinity impact zone 
    • it relates to a development, project or other undertaking to which the applicant was legally committed, or had committed significant financial or other resources at the proposed site prior to 30 June 2003 
    • the potential salinity impacts of the site use approval are offset by the proponent generating salinity credits through an agreement with the Minister. 

Further information is available in the River Murray salinity zoning fact sheet and the Approvals for Irrigation Development in the River Murray High Salinity Impact Zone fact sheet. Refer to related links below.

Application forms and contact details for water licence enquiries

Salinity zone maps showing boundaries 

A series of high resolution maps are available to assist in determining the location of a property in relation to the salinity zone boundaries. Please view the regional index map to identify which high resolution map is relevant to your enquiry.

Alternatively the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) NatureMaps online tool can also be used to determine which salinity zone a particular property is located within. Further information for using NatureMaps to access salinity zoning information is available in the Salinity Zoning Guide to NatureMaps.

Related links