What is a Water Allocation Plan?
A water allocation plan (WAP) is a legal document that sets out the rules for using prescribed water resources. A WAP ensures water is fairly and sustainably allocated for community, industry, and the environment.
Both surface water and groundwater is prescribed in the Western Mount Lofty Ranges (WMLR) and Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges (EMLR). Overleaf is a map of these regions.
Why are water allocation plans important?
Water is a precious resource. There is a limit to how much is available so it is vital to balance environmental, social and economic needs, to ensure long-term sustainability and security.
Why are the WAPs being evaluated?
To ensure that a plan remains up to date, a water allocation plan must be reviewed (evaluated) on a comprehensive basis at least once every 10 years. The EMLR and WMLR WAPs were both first adopted in 2013 and are now due to be evaluated.
The purpose of the evaluation is to look at whether the water allocation plan is effective, and whether amendments are required. Both the Eastern and Western Mount Lofty Ranges Water Allocation Plans are likely to require amendments.
What will the evaluation involve?
The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board will work with community, First Nations, and industry stakeholders over 2023 to ensure their views are heard. The board will also work with scientists from the Department for Environment and Water to assess surface water, groundwater, ecological and climate change aspects. This work will inform the focus areas for the WAP amendments.
What happens next?
Once the evaluation project has been completed by the end of 2023, a larger process will begin to amend the two WAPs. The amendment will see substantial community engagement to discuss their vision for the future of the resource and what changes to the WAPs are needed to achieve this vision.
What do we want to hear from you?
During the evaluation, the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board is keen to hear from the community and industry about what aspects of the plan have worked well and what aspects need to be improved.