Salinity zoning and boundaries

Irrigation salinity zoning

The River Murray Salinity Management provisions contained within Section 6.3.1 of the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse (the Plan) (2019) 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 provisions are implemented through site use approvals that specify the maximum volume of water that can be applied for irrigation on defined land parcels within salinity impact zones.

The provisions have been updated following a review of Irrigation Salinity Management in 2017 and community consultation on the draft Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse in 2018.

The new salinity management provisions:

  • reduce the number of salinity impact zones from five zones to two zones (High and Low) to simplify the policy and increase the availability of Site Use Approval volume in the High zone
  • maintain the ability to exchange Site Use Approval Volumes between authorisation holders within the same zone
  • allow for the exchange of Site Use Approval Volume from authorisation holders in the High Salinity Impact Zone to the Low Salinity Impact Zone
  • provide for 30-year site use approvals for new horticultural developments (conditions apply) in the High Salinity Impact Zone
  • provide for 60-year site use approvals for new horticultural developments (conditions apply) in the Low Salinity Impact Zone
  • allow increases to the volumes on existing site use approvals to enable conversion to higher water use crops (conditions apply)
  • allow increases to the volumes on existing site use approvals to meet mature crop water requirements (conditions apply).

If you require assistance about your options for development in salinity impact zones, please contact water licensing staff within the Department for Environment and Water in the Berri office on 08 8595 2053.  A fact sheet about the River Murray Salinity Zoning provisions can be found here.

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.

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.