New water policy for SAAL

Landholders planning any activity that may impact water resources are reminded to seek advice from SAAL Board staff before undertaking any work.

Water Affecting Activities (WAAs) are those with the potential to impact the health and condition of water resources, other water users and the ecosystems that depend on those resources.

A new Water Affecting Activity Control Policy has been adopted for the SAAL region. It incorporates the Port Augusta and Flinders Ranges council areas following the transition to the Landscape South Australia Act 2019

The policy, which came into effect on 15 March 2021, includes three management zones:

  • A whole of SAAL region
  • An existing Murray-Darling Basin Management Zone; and
  • A new Port Augusta and Flinders Ranges Management Zone covering the two council areas.

Water project officer Melissa Horgan said given how precious water is as a resource in the SAAL region, it is really important that surface water is managed as effectively as possible to ensure all users have access to the water they need.

“An effective way to do this, while also maintaining the health of the resource, is to manage the activities that impact it through a permit process that is set out in the control policy,” she said.

“The activities can range from building dams and installing contour banks to working within a watercourse to construct a crossing or excavate material. Any activity that has the potential to impact the natural processes or water quality is a risk that may adversely affect the ecology or other downstream users.”

Changes for landholders in the new Port Augusta and Flinders Ranges Management Zone will be minimal, as the principles that applied under the former Northern and Yorke NRM Board are captured in the policy for that zone. The main difference is that enquiries and permit applications are now processed by the SAAL board.

“If you are unsure if the work you are planning will require a permit, contact the SAAL Landscape Board staff who will help you work through the process or answer any questions.”

Further information regarding Water Affecting Activity Permits is available at https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/saal/water/water-affecting-activities or from the Board’s office on 8648 5307.