What is the water accounting project?
The accounting for groundwater take project aims to identify and field trial water accounting solutions that meet the requirements associated with managing a prescribed wells area in a way that does not significantly impact a pastoral business; ideally adding value to the businesses.
The project was established to investigate and trial metering, measuring and accounting options that maybe suitable for the Far North and can be used to support development of the water accounting implementation plan. Trials were undertaken to evaluate proposed accounting methods against key criteria of reliability, practicality, cost and accuracy.
Emphasis was placed on methods that provided significant benefit for land management such as improved understanding of stock water requirements and water point management and security.
Why do we need an accounting project?
The accounting for groundwater take in the Far North Prescribed Wells Area project was developed in response to community concern, raised during consultation on the Water Allocation Plan, about the potential impact of water metering on pastoral businesses in the Far North.
The South Australian Licenced Water Use Metering Policy, requires licensed water to be taken through a meter approved by the Minister or in such a way that the Minister is satisfied that the taking of water is consistent with the relevant meter implementation plan. Alternatives to water metering can be considered and documented within a meter implementation plan; for the Far North this plan is referred to as the Water Accounting Implementation Plan.
An advisory group was established to support the project through the provision of advice regarding identification of water accounting projects, contributing to project assessment and assisting in overseeing the conduct of trials. The advisory group consisted of pastoral industry members with an interest or experience in groundwater management and managing water for cattle and sheep enterprises and representatives from the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board and the Department for Environment and Water. Read more about the group.