Water resources of our region support aquatic habitats for native plants and animals, water-based recreation and tourism, commercial fishing, Aboriginal cultural values and contribute to the beauty of landscapes. Water supply from ground and surface water sources supports productive agriculture and horticulture, urban areas, industry and the environment.
The River Murray is the most significant water resource in our region, and is the principal water resource for South Australia. It supplies water for irrigation, households in country towns, stock and domestic use, and metropolitan Adelaide (as required). It’s flows are the life support for the majority of the region's wetland, floodplain and riverine ecosystems, including the Ramsar listed "Riverland", Banrock Station Wetland Complex, and Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth wetland complex, which contains the only estuary of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Other water resources in the region include; the tributaries and groundwater systems of the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges which support the nationally significant Fleurieu Swamps, the groundwater systems in the Mallee which provide water access for important farming enterprises, and the ephemeral flows and permanent pools in the Rangelands which provide relief in a landscape with little water. Groundwater is the only reliable source of water in parts of the SA Murray-Darling Basin without access to the River Murray, such as the Mallee, Peake, parts of the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges and Rangelands.
Water supply and quality support healthy landscapes, livelihoods and lifestyles, and are critical to human life. High demand, high levels of surface water extraction, urban growth and declining water quality are just some of the pressures on water resources in our region.
To learn more about water resource features in the SA Murray-Darling Basin, click here.