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Review of the Water Allocation Plan for the McLaren Vale Prescribed Wells Area

A water allocation plan must be reviewed on a comprehensive basis at least once every 10 years. The Water Allocation Plan for the McLaren Vale Prescribed Wells Area (2007) was previously reviewed in 2011 without amendment.

The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board has recently completed its comprehensive review of the plan.

The review adopted a looking forward / looking back approach, examining the success of the MV WAP in achieving its objectives and assessing whether the MV WAP remains appropriate for managing the resource for the next ten years. The four main elements to the review process were:

  • A water allocation plan advisory committee (WAPAC) was established to provide community views. The WAPAC conducted a risk assessment as part of the looking forward aspect, and was also a forum for discussing issues of interest to the community.
  • A technical advisory group was formed which conducted an assessment of how well the objectives of the MV WAP had been achieved.
  • The Kaurna Nation were engaged through workshops and provided a statement about their interests.
  • A groundwater assessment report provided by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Water Science and Monitoring Branch.

The board found that the plan requires amendment.

The major focus areas for the amendment will include:

  • inclusion of Kaurna interests,
  • management of salinity increases in some areas,
  • investigation of the declines in groundwater levels, whether extraction and/or reduced rainfall are contributing to the declines, and whether reducing extraction is likely to have a material impact on those declines, and
  • adaptive management policies to enable management responses to climate change.