Making every drop count - 3 ways landscape boards help with protection and sharing of water

News article |

It might sound like a long bow but this World Water Day the United Nations says cooperating to protect and share our water resources can contribute to peace and prosperity.

Around the globe, where water is scarce or polluted, or when people struggle for access, or there are no rules to ensure fairness, conflicts can rise.

In South Australia, our reality is that we are a dry state in a dry continent.

In many areas around the state, surface water flows and groundwater levels are declining, creating a risk for the industries, ecosystems and communities that rely on them.

Our changing climate means average temperatures are increasing and there is a sustained decline in rainfall in many of South Australia’s agricultural areas.

Extreme heat events are more common and drought conditions are more severe.

Nine of the 10 hottest years on record in South Australia have occurred since 2005.

More than ever, South Australians need to work together to make every drop of water count.

Landscape boards have a crucial role in water cooperation in South Australia

There are striking differences in the landscapes across SA, but every part of the state needs to do all they can to make sure that their water resources are protected and shared sustainably.

Making every drop count - 3 ways landscape boards help with protection and sharing of water

1. Water allocation planning

We lead the development of water allocation plans (WAPs).

A water allocation plan is a legal document that sets out the rules for managing the take and use of prescribed water resources to ensure they are used sustainably. The plans are revised and implemented in consultation with water users, other community members, First Nations, industry and key stakeholders for each water resource.

A water allocation plan ensures the needs of the environment are considered when deciding how much water is made available to be taken and used for other purposes.

They set out the amount of water available for use, how that water may be allocated to water users, rules around trade of water, and the types of activities allowed with that water.

To see water allocations plans for a specific area, go to the local landscape board website for that region.

2. Water science

Landscape boards collaborate with the Department for Environment and Water to ensure we have the monitoring and science needed to underpin water policy.

This includes understanding the long-term trends in prescribed water resources, such as groundwater salinity and surface water flows, and the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Making every drop count - 3 ways landscape boards help with protection and sharing of water

3. Water affecting activities

The landscape boards play an important role working with landholders in protecting water resources, watercourses and aquatic ecosystems.

They provide advice and issue permits for water affecting activities – such as construction of dams, building structures and removing vegetation in watercourses and floodplains. This is to make sure water resources are protected and the impact of activities on water resources is minimised.

Contact your local landscape board to find out how this works in your region.

Making every drop count - 3 ways landscape boards help with protection and sharing of water

More information

Find out more about water allocation planning, water science and water affecting activities in your region by contacting your local landscape board.

Sources

Department for Environment and Water - Water allocation plans Accessed 7 March 2024

State of the Environment: SOE-SA (epa.sa.gov.au) Accessed 21 March 2024

Climate trends and projections for SA - PIRSA Accessed 21 March 2024

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