Water Allocation Plan implementation begins

Implementation of the new Far North Prescribed Wells Area Water Allocation Plan (WAP), adopted by the Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs in February this year, has begun.

The WAP manages the SA portion of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and other valuable water resources in the region to strike a balance between all users including industry, towns, Aboriginal groups and the environment.

Implementation of the new plan has started with the tasks associated with the unbundling of water licences. This new water licensing system separates the authorisations on a licence into four separate elements:

  • a water access entitlement (your ongoing right to access the resource);
  • water allocation (the volume of water which can be taken in a single water use year. Unlike other regions this will not change and will be the same as your access entitlement);
  • water resource works approval (the sources (wells) from which you can extract water); and
  • site use approval (how you can use water on land – only required in certain circumstances).

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The new system brings Far North water licences in line with current legislation. It provides more security and enables easier transfer of water rights.

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board is assisting the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Water Licencing by updating well information provided by water license holders.  DEW will start the issue of unbundled licenses from early July using the updated well information where it has been provided.

SAAL water officers are available to discuss the plan and answer your questions. You can contact Aaron Smith at 0417 643 956 or aaron.smith3@sa.gov.au and Melissa Horgan at 0409 896 402 or melissa.horgan@sa.gov.au

The Plan and Guide are available on the board’s website at https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/saal/water/water-allocation-plan