Noora Prescribed Wells Area Water Allocation Plan

Notice of intent to revoke the proclamation of underground water in the Noora Proclaimed Region, pursuant to section 125 of the Natural Resources Management Act 2004


The Noora Prescribed Wells Area (PWA) was proclaimed in 1986 in order to manage water take consistently with the Border Groundwater Agreement. The Border Groundwater Agreement establishes arrangements for the cooperative management of groundwater in a zone which extends 20 km either side of the South Australian/Victorian border.

The water resource in the Noora Prescribed Wells Area is very different from that in other prescribed wells areas. The taking and use of groundwater in the Noora PWA is limited to one licence holder for the purpose of operating salt interception schemes to protect the River Murray from saline inflows, and approximately 14 stock and domestic wells.

To read the existing Water Allocation Plan click here

To view a map of the Noora Prescribed Wells Area click here

Review of Noora Water Allocation Plan

The Noora WAP was adopted in 2001 and reviewed in 2006.  In 2016 the mandatory 10 year review was initiated with the intention to substantially revise the plan. The Noora WAP was reviewed to determine its compliance with legislation and to ensure that: 

  1. The permissible annual volumes (PAV) to be allocated from the aquifers within the Noora PWA are within the limits of the Groundwater (Border Agreement) Act 1989
  2. The separation of water rights as described in the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Act 2004
  3. All other adjustments are made to ensure the Noora WAP can satisfactorily form part of the SA Murray Region Water Resource Plan (WRP) and meet Basin Plan (2012) requirements.

This review process indicated that control of the take of water from the Noora Groundwater Management Area was already effectively controlled by the Border Groundwater Agreement. It also established that including the limits from this agreement into the Water Affecting Activity policies of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Regional NRM Plan could provide a simpler and more efficient instrument for managing the take of groundwater in this area.

Proposal to revoke the Prescription

A Water Allocation Plan is not considered the best tool for managing water in the Noora management area. Water allocation plans are generally used when there is high demand for a water resource for commercial purposes. In the case of Noora, there is very little demand due to the groundwater being highly saline and consumptive use is limited to a small amount of stock and domestic take.

Changing the manner in which the Noora area is managed will also provide a consistent approach to managing salt interception schemes, as none of South Australia’s other six salt interception schemes are subject to the requirements of a water allocation plan.

For these reasons, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation has proposed that the proclamation of the Noora Prescribed Wells Area (formerly known as known as the Noora Proclaimed Area) be revoked.

Local issues resulting from the use of the Noora disposal basin will continue to be addressed by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) through the operating arrangements for Noora Basin. DEWNR is committed to working with local landholders to ensure impacts are managed.

To view the Notice of Intent to revoke the proclamation of underground water in the Noora Proclaimed Region click here


Submissions on this proposal are welcomed and are open until 24 February, 2017.

All submissions and enquires should be addressed to:

The Minister for Environment and Conservation
c/- Ms Lisa Stribley
Principal Policy Officer
Water and Climate Change Branch
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
GPO Box 1047
Telephone:  (08) 8463 7947

Related links

More information

  • Senior Project Officer, Water Allocation Planning
    2 Wade Street, Berri SA 5243
    08 8580 1822