It is important that water allocations are set at a sustainable limit to ensure suitable quality and volumes of water are available in the future. And during times of low flows, water in creeks, rivers and other waterways must be set aside to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Managing areas of high water demand
In some zones in the Western Mount Lofty Ranges there is a high demand for water and the resource may be at risk through reduced water quality, inaccessibility or environmental impacts if action is not taken.
This is one of the reasons that metering is so important. Measuring water use across the region will enable us to closely monitor water quantity to ensure its sustainability.
While allocations have not been reduced through the licensing process, the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 allows for placing conditions on use such as utilising different water sources at different times of year and restricting water allocations should any water resource within a management zone become too stressed and unable to sustainably meet demand.
Securing low flow releases for a healthy environment
Options are being investigated for securing water for the environment during times of low flows, which may include landholders using different water sources at different times of year or installing devices to secure low-flows.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin will carry out the work with us during 2013 and 2014 to determine where low flows need to be secured for the environment and the best actions to take in each situation.
Securing low-flow releases is an important step in ensuring the environment receives the water it needs to remain healthy and to secure sustainable water resources for the future.