Salinity zoning policy and boundaries

Salinity zoning policy

The River Murray Salinity Zoning Policy helps manage salinity impacts from irrigation development and is a key element of South Australia’s salinity management program. Information regarding the relationship between irrigation and salinity can be found here.

The Salinity Zoning Policy is implemented through site use approvals that specify the maximum volume of water that can be applied for irrigation on defined land parcels.

In 2018, changes have been made to the policy to help facilitate new irrigation development and make it easier to change to higher water use crops.

The updated policy provides for:

  • 30 year site use approvals for new or increased irrigation water use (conditions apply)
  • increases to the volumes on existing site use approvals to enable conversion to higher water use crops (conditions apply)

The policy has been included in Chapter 6 of the draft Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse which is currently out for consultation until 14 September 2018.

Minor changes to the policy are proposed as part of the draft Plan to reduce the number of salinity zones, provide for the transfer of site use approval volumes from the high to low salinity impact zones, and to remove the expired prior commitment sections.

Individuals or businesses can provide feedback on these policy changes by making a submission to the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board. More information on the consultation process can be found here.

If you require assistance to determine your options for development under the Salinity Zoning Policy, please contact staff administering the Salinity Zoning Policy within the Department for Environment and Water in the Berri office on 08 8595 2053.

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.

Please note that it is proposed to merge the existing High Salinity (salt interception) Zones at Bookpurnong and Loxton and the Qualco Sunland’s Scheme Area into the High Salinity Impact Zone as part of the draft Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse which is currently out for consultation until 14 September 2018. Information about the proposed changes can be found here.

Alternatively, the Department for Environment and Water's online tool NatureMaps can be used to find the salinity zone that a property is located within. Information about how to use NatureMaps to access salinity zoning information is available in the Salinity Zoning Guide to NatureMaps.