Barossa Water Allocation Plan Amendment

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Share your views about how to manage water resources in the Barossa Valley to help shape the Barossa Water Allocation Plan amendment.

What's being decided?

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board is amending the Barossa Water Allocation Plan, a document that sets the rules for the sustainable use of prescribed water resources. The Board is seeking community discussion and input into the proposed management options designed to address declining water reliability, ecosystem health and cultural and amenity values. Following this pre-consultation phase, the amended Barossa Water Allocation Plan will be open for formal consultation.

Background

The Barossa Water Allocation Plan (the Plan) is a legal document that provides responsible, fair and equitable water allocations for users of surface and ground water, while maintaining the health of our landscapes and ecosystems.

Work on amending the Plan began in 2016 and is influenced by another significant project, the Barossa Water Security Strategy. This pilot project, led by the Department for Environment and Water, began in 2020 in response to increasing water security stress identified by industry and water users in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Modelling has provided information about the current and future availability of water, the impacts of different levels of extraction, and the effects of climate change on local water resources. If no action is taken, it is expected that the reliability of water will continue to decline, as will cultural and amenity values and ecosystem health.

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board is seeking the community’s input to help shape the amended Plan, including the proposed management options. The amended Barossa Water Allocation Plan is expected to be ready for formal consultation in 2023, providing the community and stakeholders with another opportunity to provide feedback.

Get involved

Find out more:

Have your say by:

What are the next steps?

We will consider your feedback to finalise a management framework, which will be presented at a forum in 2023 (details TBC). The framework will be included in the draft Barossa Water Allocation Plan Amendment, which will enter formal consultation in 2023.

Share your views about how to manage water resources in the Barossa Valley to help shape the Barossa Water Allocation Plan amendment.

What's being decided?

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board is amending the Barossa Water Allocation Plan, a document that sets the rules for the sustainable use of prescribed water resources. The Board is seeking community discussion and input into the proposed management options designed to address declining water reliability, ecosystem health and cultural and amenity values. Following this pre-consultation phase, the amended Barossa Water Allocation Plan will be open for formal consultation.

Background

The Barossa Water Allocation Plan (the Plan) is a legal document that provides responsible, fair and equitable water allocations for users of surface and ground water, while maintaining the health of our landscapes and ecosystems.

Work on amending the Plan began in 2016 and is influenced by another significant project, the Barossa Water Security Strategy. This pilot project, led by the Department for Environment and Water, began in 2020 in response to increasing water security stress identified by industry and water users in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Modelling has provided information about the current and future availability of water, the impacts of different levels of extraction, and the effects of climate change on local water resources. If no action is taken, it is expected that the reliability of water will continue to decline, as will cultural and amenity values and ecosystem health.

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board is seeking the community’s input to help shape the amended Plan, including the proposed management options. The amended Barossa Water Allocation Plan is expected to be ready for formal consultation in 2023, providing the community and stakeholders with another opportunity to provide feedback.

Get involved

Find out more:

Have your say by:

What are the next steps?

We will consider your feedback to finalise a management framework, which will be presented at a forum in 2023 (details TBC). The framework will be included in the draft Barossa Water Allocation Plan Amendment, which will enter formal consultation in 2023.

Ask questions about the draft Barossa Water Allocation Plan Amendment

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    Is the Barossa wine industry the problem to our declining groundwater levels & increased salinity ? Because Barossa growers/wineries collectively have removed around 90% of our native vegetation for industrialized Monocultured wine production there is almost no natural filtering of groundwater.

    Isaac asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for your question regarding declining groundwater levels and increased salinity in the Barossa. Although the vegetation in the Barossa has undergone significant alteration since European settlement, fortunately there is still a good level of groundcover vegetation, albeit mostly introduced species, to enable slowing of runoff and increased infiltration.

    The key driver of the currently observed changes in groundwater systems in the Barossa has been the long-term trend of declining rainfall that has continued since the 1990s. This has resulted in declining flows and runoff, and for periods such as 2018 to 2020 almost no flows or runoff, which has caused a continuing decline in recharge of the groundwater systems. Combined with increased extraction of groundwater during to the drier years this has led to some of the lowest groundwater levels on record during those recent very dry years.

    Fortunately the increased rainfall of 2021 to 2022 is expected to result in increased recharge, however the ongoing monitoring of groundwater that is undertaken by the Department for Environment and Water within the Barossa area will continue to be essential to ensure sustainable use of groundwater resources is maintained and that the health and condition of groundwater-dependent ecosystems such as permanent pools is supported. Thanks again for your enquiry.

Page last updated: 04 Jan 2023, 12:21 PM