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Adelaide

                                                                                                   

Administration

                             

This page explains how legislation, plans and provisions are applied for surface, ground and environmental water. It also lists the organisations responsible for water management in this region.

 

Water Management, Legislation, Plans and Provisions

Surface water

Surface water legislation

Surface water resources including watercourses in the Adelaide region are managed according to the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (the Act). The Act sets the framework for water planning and management including provisions for declaring a water resource to be prescribed, that is, requiring a water allocation plan and a licence or other authorisation to abstract water. Water-affecting activities that do not pertain to the extraction or use of water are provided for through water-affecting activity permits.

The Waterworks Act 1932 (South Australia) consolidates certain legislation relating to water supply. The Water Conservation Act 1936 (South Australia) establishes specific legislation concerning the conservation of water. The Sewerage Act 1929 (South Australia) incorporates legislation providing for sewerage and cleansing of the metropolitan area and other places.

 

Water management plans

The Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (South Australia) enables the water resources of an area to be prescribed. Following prescription, the development of a water allocation plan is required. Water allocation plans set principles and objectives for the management of water resources through the determination of environmental water provisions, granting of water entitlements and management of water-affecting activities through works approvals, site use approvals and permits.

Water allocation plans are prepared by the relevant natural resources management board (NRM Board). The Adelaide region lies within the responsibility of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board. The Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board is also relevant to the Adelaide region because it is responsible for developing the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse. River Murray water is vital for supplying the water needs of the region. The South Australian Department for Water coordinates the adoption of water allocation plans by the Minister for Environment and Conservation and administers the plans following adoption.

 The prescribed surface water areas in the Adelaide region in 2009–10 were:

  • Barossa prescribed water resources area – the water allocation plan for this area is operational
  • Little Para prescribed watercourse – this watercourse was prescribed in 1978, but does not have a water allocation plan. It will be covered by the Western Mount Lofty Ranges Plan when operational
  • Western Mount Lofty Ranges prescribed water resources area – a Notice of Prohibition is in place for this area and a water allocation plan is under development. This plan also covers the watercourses on the Adelaide Plains including the Gawler, Little Para, Torrens and Onkaparinga watercourses.

These areas are shown in Figure A1.

Figure A1. Map of surface water management areas in the Adelaide region

Figure A1. Map of surface water management areas in the Adelaide region

 

Groundwater

Groundwater legislation

Groundwater in the Adelaide region is managed according to the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (the Act). The Act sets the frameworks for water planning and management including provisions for declaring a water resource to be prescribed, that is, requiring a water allocation plan and a licence or other authorisation to abstract water. Water-affecting activities that do not pertain to the extraction or use of water are provided for through water-affecting activity permits.

Groundwater management plans

There are several operational and draft water allocation plans covering groundwater (underground water) in the Adelaide region (Figure A2).

The prescribed groundwater areas with water allocation plans operational during 2009–10 were:

The prescribed groundwater areas with water allocation plans in development during 2009–10 were:

Figure A2. Map of groundwater management areas in the Adelaide region

Figure A2. Map of groundwater management areas in the Adelaide region

 

Environmental water

Environmental water legislation

Environmental water in the Adelaide region is managed according to the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (South Australia), which is administered by the Minister for Environment and Conservation in South Australia. The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board is the regulatory agency established to manage the natural resources (including environmental water) in the Adelaide region on behalf of the Minister, together with the Department for Water, the Department for Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Primary Industries and Resources.

Environmental water provisions

Environmental water provisions within the Adelaide region are managed by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and the Department for Water. The provisions vary for each prescribed area.

Barossa Prescribed Water Resources Area

McLaren Vale Prescribed Wells Area

Northern Adelaide Plains Prescribed Wells Area

  • The Northern Adelaide Plains water allocation plan outlines environmental requirements for the maintenance of important groundwater-dependent ecosystems in the area.
  • Water users are required to hold a water-affecting activity permit for activities involving groundwater resources.

Water allocation plans for the Adelaide Plains prescribed wells area and the Western Mount Lofty Ranges prescribed water resources area are under development. These plans will include environmental water provisions.

 

Organisations Responsible for Water Management

The organisations responsible for water management in the Adelaide region are presented in Table A1.

Table A1. Roles and responsibilities for organisations and utilities

Organisation

Principal roles

Major storages managed by organisation

Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board

  • water resource management
  • water resource monitoring
  • water resource allocation

None

South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

  • water resource management for River Murray water

None

Government of South Australia, Department for Water (DFW)

  • water resource assessment
  • operation of water licensing system
  • water resource monitoring
  • water policies, legislation and regulation
  • assessment of development impact on water resources

None

SA Water Corporation (SA Water)

  • delivery of potable water, recycled water and wastewater services
  • Barossa Reservoir
  • Happy Valley Reservoir
  • Hope Valley Reservoir
  • Kangaroo Creek Reservoir
  • Little Para Reservoir
  • Millbrook Reservoir
  • Mount Bold Reservoir
  • Myponga Reservoir
  • South Para Reservoir
  • Warren Reservoir

United Water

  • operation of water and wastewater infrastructure

None

Barossa Infrastructure Limited (BIL)

  • use of SA Water services to deliver River Murray water to the Barossa Valley
  • owner of licence to take water from River Murray (issued by DFW)

None

Willunga Basin Water Company (WBWC)

  • distributing recycled water

None

Virginia Pipeline Scheme (VPS)

  • distributing recycled water

None

Various wastewater treatment plant operators

(e.g. North Para Environmental Control)

  • wastewater and recycled water services

None

27 local government councils

  • planning and development for Community Wastewater Management Schemes (CWMS) and stormwater management

 

None

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • water quality monitoring

None