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Compliance with the Basin Plan

Compliance with the Basin Plan is critical to restoring the health of the Basin. DEW is responsible for compliance relating to water resource legislation within South Australia and carries out a range of monitoring and enforcement activities.

In 2017, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority and an Independent Panel conducted a Basin-wide Compliance Review to assess compliance in water management across the Basin.

The review recommended a range of actions to be undertaken by all Basin governments, including:

  • a 'no meter, no pump' policy
  • more transparent compliance policies
  • reporting of compliance actions
  • more effective penalty regimes.

The review also recommended that governments focus on the development of good quality water resources plans by 30 June 2019.

The Australian Government and the Basin States responded to the report by developing and implementing the Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact. This compact was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in December 2018.

South Australia was seen as a leader in compliance throughout the development of the Compact, given the extensive reform process that has been undertaken in this state. This was further recognised when South Australia hosted an inaugural Compliance Community of Practice meeting to share knowledge and experience with other Basin jurisdictions and the MDBA which was aimed at improving compliance arrangements across the Basin.

Each year the Murray-Darling Basin Authority publishes a report on the progress being made in implementing the Compact commitments.

The Assurance Report found that South Australia has met all of its Compact commitments for 2018 and that relatively mature compliance arrangements are in place in this state.

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