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Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan

Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan

Why do we have a Water Allocation Plan for the Marne Saunders catchment?

Water is a precious resource and there is a limit to how much is available for use on an ongoing basis. It is therefore important to provide certainty to current and future users of water, particularly to those whose livelihoods depend on it. The Marne Saunders Water Allocation Plan (WAP) helps to provide that certainty, giving consideration to the environment, social and economic needs, and ensuring long term sustainability and security.

While the upper catchment of the Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resource Area is located in the Northern and Yorke region, the majority of the Marne Saunders falls within the Murraylands and Riverland region. The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is responsible for implementing and reviewing the plan.

The Water Allocation Plan aims to:

  • protect the resource for all water users, now and into the future
  • provide greater certainty for water users
  • incorporate community input

The WAP for the Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area was adopted in 2010 after being developed by the landscape board, the community-based Marne Saunders Water Resources Planning Committee and relevant stakeholders.

Does the Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan change over time?

Yes. Minor changes were made to the plan by the Minister for Environment and Conservation in 2019 to ensure it complied with the Murray Darling Basin Plan. None of those changes affected individual rights to take or use water.

A 10-year review of the plan was undertaken in 2019 and it found there was no need for amendments at that time. It was recommended that a detailed review be undertaken once securing low flows has been substantially implemented and monitored for a period of time. Landholders are being assisted to return low flows through the Department for Environment and Water’s Flows for the Future program.

How does community input factor into the plan?

Following community concerns about a series of dry years across the catchment, the landscape board engaged the community to discuss the state of the resource and consider options for the future. A series of factsheets was produced to aid the engagement process.

Community meetings held in Mount Pleasant in November 2022 asked water license holders and non-license holders to consider their preferred options to address concerns around sustainability of the resource. Those strategies are currently being examined through a risk analysis process, and the community will be consulted in this process to assist the landscape board with a future strategy.

Feedback received during the Mount Pleasant meetings is included in this engagement report. Two pie graphs summarise the key findings showing alignment between all stakeholders regarding their preferred environmental, social and economic outcomes for the catchment.

Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan
Preferred outcomes among licensees

Feedback received during the Mount Pleasant meetings is included in this engagement report.

Two pie graphs summarise the key findings showing alignment between all stakeholders regarding their preferred environmental, social and economic outcomes for the catchment.

Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan
Preferred outcomes among non-licensee community members

The November 2022 meetings followed a forum held in Cambrai in February 2022, where the latest scientific information for surface water and groundwater citizen science, and water security programs catchment was presented. Slides from these presentations can be viewed here.

Are you a community member interested in the future of the Marne Saunders catchment?

To register for updates regarding the Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area Water Allocation Plan and future community consultation opportunities, email stuart.sexton@sa.gov.au.

Related documents

More information

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

Unit 5-6, Level 1 Sturt Centre, 2 Sturt Reserve Road, Murray Bridge, SA, 5253

08 8532 9100

mr.landscapeboard@sa.gov.au