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Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse

Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board (the landscape board) recently amended the water allocation plan which was adopted by the Minister for Environment and Water on 24 September 2021. The amendments relate to changes in environmental land management allocations (ELMA). Only holders of ELMA (class 8) entitlements are affected by the changes. More information about ELMA can be found in this factsheet.

The landscape board received 64 submissions during the consultation process. A consultation and alterations report was produced which summarises the submissions received and any consequent alterations that the landscape board made to the water allocation plan.

Current Water Allocation Plan

The River Murray is critical to South Australia's communities, industries, unique environment and way of life. The current Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse (the water allocation plan) is in place to manage the river for all water users, and to make sure that water use is sustainable.

The Water Allocation Plan covers the River Murray downstream from the Victorian border and includes Lakes Alexandrina and Albert, part of Currency Creek, and the Finniss, Angas and Bremer Rivers. See the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse map for more information.

Arrangements are in place to help South Australia prepare for an extended dry period, including the storage of water for critical human water needs and private carryover purposes, and activation of the policy for use of the Adelaide Desalination Plant in dry times.

The water allocation plan:

  • shares available water amongst all water users, including the environment, now and into the future
  • provides greater transparency for water users, especially about how water will be allocated.

The water allocation plan forms part of the River Murray Water Resources Plan and is accredited under the Basin Plan. Water users obligations are met when they comply with the water allocation plan.

What do I need to know about the rules in the water allocation plan?

The water allocation plan sets out the rules for taking and using water. If you are a water user, it is important that you know about the rules in the water allocation plan.

Fact sheets that explain the policies in the water allocation plan are available and include:

Information about the water use year and useful tools

The South Australian Government is committed to ensuring that water users receive the best available information about the projected minimum opening allocations in the River Murray and allocation outlooks.

As part of the Government's commitment to providing early advice to help irrigators manage their water, the Department for Environment and Water has launched the SA River Murray Water Calculator.

Where can I find out more?

For more information about the rules of the water allocation plan and how they apply to you:

Printed copies of the water allocation plan are available for collection at at the Landscape Board Offices in Berri 08 8580 1800 and Murray Bridge 08 8532 9100, or we can mail one to you.

To talk through any of the policies in the water allocation plan, please contact the Senior Project Officer, River Murray Water Allocation Plan on 0428 113 442 or email

For more information about licensing, metering, or well permits, please contact us on 08 8595 2053. Water licensing and permit forms are available online, here.

Other resources & reports

More information

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board

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

08 8532 9100