Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse

The new Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse is now in place.

The River Murray is critical to South Australia and we must all do our bit to manage it responsibly.

The Water Allocation Plan is a legal document that sets out rules for sharing water from the river and aims to:

  • protect the resource for all water users including the environment, now and into the future
  • provide greater certainty for water users

The Water Allocation Plan covers the River Murray downstream from the Victorian border and encompasses Lakes Alexandrina and Albert, portions of Currency Creek, the Finniss, Angas and Bremer Rivers, as can be seen on the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse Map.

You can download the full Water Allocation Plan here .

The Water Allocation Plan sets out how water can be taken and used from the River Murray to ensure it is managed sustainably.

The new Water Allocation Plan includes important changes about the way we take and use water from the River Murray.

Find out more about what a WAP is and why they are important.

Find out about permits and licences relating to this WAP.

What has changed and what do I need to know?

The changes that have been made to the Water Allocation Plan aim to:

  • provide clarity around how the river is managed in South Australia
  • incorporate learnings from the Millenium Drought
  • reflect changes in science, policy and issues associated with the use of the River Murray.

There are a number of differences in the new Water Allocation Plan that all licence holders should be aware of. These are outlined in the fact sheet Adoption of the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse .

Fact sheets:

Find out more about:

How does this impact my existing licence and approvals?

Importantly, your existing water rights and approvals remain the same. The adoption of the Water Allocation Plan does not impact your ability to use or trade water.

After 1 July 2018 your licence will be reissued to reflect new terminology and other documents like site use approvals and water resource works approvals may be re-issued to ensure they are consistent with the WAP.

Until then, your existing approvals remain valid.

How was the new Water Allocation Plan developed?

The Water Allocation Plan was developed by the community-based South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management (SAMDB NRM) Board in conjunction with landholders, scientists and all three levels of government.

The SAMDB NRM Board received 62 written submissions through the consultation process and these include 512 comments. The comments are available for viewing here .

A full Consultation and Alterations Report is available, along with a table showing the changes made to the Water Allocation Plan after consultation. A summary of the consultation process is also available.

What’s happening next?

Together, we’ve put a lot of work into producing a new Water Allocation Plan but there is more to do.

This Water Allocation Plan is a stepping stone on the path to where we want to be.

Between now and 2019, we’ll be back talking to the community as we make some further refinements so that the Basin Plan can be implemented on time and in full in South Australia.

We expect the next version of the Water Allocation Plan will be released in 2019.

The Basin Plan has been considered in developing the Water Allocation Plan, however full compliance with the Basin Plan is not required until 2019. The SAMDB NRM Board will undertake a further review to ensure requirements are met by 2019.

More information

To find out what the changes mean for you:

  • Read the fact sheets
  • Drop into the water licensing office at 2 Wade Street, Berri SA
  • Call the water licensing office on 08 8595 2053
  • Email water licensing on dewnrwaterlicensing@sa.gov.au

Printed copies of the plan are also available for viewing at natural resources centres and local council libraries in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region. 

For information about licensing, metering, or well permits, call us on 8595 2053.

More information