Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse
The Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse has been amended and was formally adopted by the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water on 27 April 2023.
The amendments relate to the private carryover policy for Class 3 (High Security) South Australian water entitlement holders.
The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board received and considered 17 submissions during the consultation period. A report on the consultation process, feedback and key changes to the plan is available here.
Additional information to guide water entitlement holders through the private carryover application process, including frequently asked questions, will be released soon.
About the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse 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 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, 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
- 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's important that you know about the rules in the water allocation plan.
- Environmental land management allocations
- New Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs)
- Identifying Aboriginal objectives and outcomes
- How water is allocated, including during dry times
- Consumptive Pools
- How salinity impacts are managed through the salinity zoning policy
- A limit on extractions from the upper Pike River anabranch
- Rules around pumping infrastructure to support water level variability
- Provisions for Environmental Land Management Allocations to protect the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area
- Rules around trading of water access entitlements and allocations
- License provisions for marinas, canal estates and other artificial water bodies
- How water is managed for ecological outcomes
- Environmental Protection Authority's guidelines to the lower reclaimed irrigation area
- Pressurised irrigation best management practice guidelines
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:
- Refer to the fact sheets
- Call the Berri water licensing office on 08 8595 2053
- Email water licensing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed copies of the water allocation plan are available for collection at the landscape board offices in Berri 08 8580 1800 and Murray Bridge 08 8532 9100, or you can request that a copy is mailed to you.
To talk through any of the policies in the water allocation plan, please contact the Water Resources Manager on 0428 113 442 or email email@example.com.
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
- River Murray water markets and trade
- River Murray private carryover
- Water allocations
- How the River Murray salinity zoning policy is applied, including zone boundaries
- The science behind the upper Pike River anabranch and why an extraction limit is being introduced
- Water Level Variability – project information
- The science underpinning the ELMA application rates and other technical reports:
- Salt leaching requirements for soils in the Lower Murray Reclaimed irrigation Area (report)
- Optimisation of Environmental Land Management Allocations (ELMA) in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area (report)
- Sustaining irrigation and soil conditions under changing land use and climate in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area (report)
- Critical water levels for operation of irrigation infrastructure in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Are (report)
- LMRIA Sustainable Soils Project - Summary of current practices (report)
- Land Use Study and Development Plan Review for the Lower Murray Flood Plain (report)
Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board
Unit 5-6, Level 1 Sturt Centre, 2 Sturt Reserve Road, Murray Bridge, 5253
08 8532 9100