Have your say on the draft revised Water Allocation Plan

A Water Allocation Plan (WAP) is designed to protect and sustainably manage the area’s water resources to provide security for all users now and into the future. It sets the rules by which the available groundwater is shared between environmental requirements and human uses and sets up licensing arrangements that provide an entitlement to the water.

The current WAP has been in place since 2009 and the new draft WAP will guide the use of the region’s groundwater for the next 10 years.

Community information sessions were held at Coober Pedy and Marree in late November and further consultation meetings will be held in the following locations:

  • Adelaide: 27 February 2020, Adelaide Science Exchange 4pm to 7pm.
  • Coober Pedy: 17 February 2020, Coober Pedy Golf Club 1pm to 4pm.
  • Marree:3 March 2020, Marree Hotel 1pm to 4pm.
  • Innamincka: 4 March 2020, Innamincka Hotel 1pm to 4pm.

The main alterations in the draft new WAP include:

  • Further acknowledgement of Aboriginal water interests;
  • A variation of domestic allocations to 1.5ML, to better reflect the use for this purpose and remaining entitlements to be for amenity purposes such as gardens and wetlands;
  • The removal of purpose based allocation rules in favour of broad consumptive pools;
  • Protection of significant groundwater dependent ecosystems beyond the springs;
  • The removal of a volumetric cap on the water which can be used for any purpose in the FNPWA; and
  • Improved water use efficiency through reuse or re-injection of co-produced water, unless it is deemed not reasonably practical.

Regional NRM Manager for SA Arid Lands Jodie Gregg-Smith said while the Board understands that licensees and those with an interest in the management of this precious resource are currently experiencing changes and challenges on a range of issues, the draft Water Allocation Plan is essential to securing groundwater resources for the future.

Ms Gregg-Smith said the Board had committed three years of work into the development of the draft plan, which included the input of key stakeholders and licensees from across the Far North Prescribed Wells Area.

Input will be sought from stakeholders throughout the consultation period, with ongoing collaboration between the Board and industry groups, community, and Traditional Owner groups also guiding the implementation of the plan once it is adopted.

Visit the SAAL NRM Board website to download a copy of the draft WAP, fact sheets and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/aridlands/water/water-allocation-plan/Draft_Far_North_Prescribed_Wells_Area_Water_Allocation_Plan_2019-2029.

To request a printed copy, contact the Natural Resources Centre in Port Augusta on 8648 5300.