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Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan

A Water Allocation Plan (WAP) for the Lower Limestone Coast Prescribed Wells Area was adopted on 26 November 2013 which sets out the rules for managing and taking prescribed water. The Plan has been amended three times (2014, 2015 and 2019).

The Lower Limestone Coast WAP took 10 years to complete, involving extensive community consultation and research. In what is believed to be a world first, legislative changes were made to the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 that required commercial forestry to become a licensed water user.

The WAP is designed to:

  • protect the resource for all water users, now and into the future
  • establish the rules for managing, taking and using prescribed water
  • provide security and equity between water users now and into the future
  • balance the capacity and sustainability of the region’s water resources and the needs of the environment
  • take into account any potentially detrimental effects on the quality or quantity of water resources from taking or using water
  • identify how water will be allocated and the amount of water available for allocation
  • provide rules for transferring licences and allocations, how trading of water will occur and the criteria for water affecting activity permits

Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan Science Review and Risk Assessment

The Minister for Environment and Water, placed a hold on the 2018 reductions to water allocations in the Lower Limestone Coast Prescribed Wells Area and requested that the Limestone Coast Landscape Board initiate a review of the science underpinning the reductions in the 2013 Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan.

In May 2018 the Minister for Environment and Water, The Hon David Speirs, put a hold on any further reductions to allocations in the Lower Limestone Coast while a review was conducted of the science underpinning the reductions in the water allocation plan. The Minister asked the Board to lead the science review.

A Stakeholder Advisory Group was established by the Board to provide advice and input into the review of the science. The advisory group included irrigation, forestry, Conservation Council, SA Water, Local Government and SE Aboriginal Focus Group representatives.

The Goyder Institute for Water Research was engaged as an independent body to conduct the science review. The review found that a substantial body of scientific work underpins water allocation planning in the Lower Limestone Coast.

Based on recommendations from the science review, a new assessment of the risk to water resources in the Lower Limestone Coast, supported by the Stakeholder Advisory Group, was undertaken. A summary of the outcomes of the risk assessment is available here.

The Minister has considered the outcomes of the science review and the risk assessment and intends to implement a number of changes to the reductions scheme set out in the LLC WAP. For more information please click here or contact David Williamson, Team Leader Water Licensing South East on (08) 8735 1134.

Kingston Confined Aquifer Groundwater Model

A groundwater modelling project has been completed for the Kingston Confined Aquifer Management Area. This fulfils a commitment by the Board outlined in the Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan. The project has resulted in a report which models a range of extraction scenarios to examine the impact of different levels of extraction on the confined aquifer. This work has been undertaken to assist determining the amount of water to be allocated from the confined aquifer to ensure long-term sustainable use.

You can view the report, South East confined aquifer modelling investigations - Kingston groundwater management area,online. We have also prepared an information sheet which summarises the outcome of the project.

Inter - Management Area Trade

In accordance with the Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan, water allocations may be transferred or traded either permanently or temporarily between many Management Area boundaries.

Water transfers between Management Areas are assessed on a case by case basis depending on water availability in the respective water Management areas and other transfer criteria.

Download the fact sheet summarising the Inter-Management Area allocation transfer requirements and processes.

Contact Water Licensing staff before you lodge an Inter-Management water trade application to determine water allocation availability on 08 8735 1134 or DEWMeteringSouthEast@sa.gov.au.

Amendments to the Lower Limestone Coast WAP

Find out more about the amendments to the Lower Limestone Coast WAP

More information

The Lower Limestone Coast Prescribed Wells Area was created by amalgamating three smaller prescribed wells areas. View the previous three WAPs in the Lower Limestone Coast Prescribed Wells Area: