The River Murray is critical to all South Australians supplying water that supports continued prosperity and quality of life for our communities. It includes internationally recognised wetlands, is a major supplier of water for Adelaide and other regional towns across the state, and incorporates all or part of the traditional lands of the Ngarrindjeri, Peramangk and First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee Region.
The South Australian River Murray Water Resource Plan (WRP) area as defined by the Basin Plan, includes the surface waters and floodplain of the River Murray within South Australia, including Lakes Alexandrina and Albert (see map). The Coorong is included in the Murray Region WRP.
The Department for Environment and Water is developing a draft South Australian River Murray Water Resource Plan as part of meeting for the requirements on water resource planning for the River Murray as outlined in the Basin Plan. It will include:
- limits for how much water can be taken annually for consumptive use (urban, industrial and agricultural) called Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs)
- rules and arrangements associated with the management of environmental water
- an outline of the risks to the River and the strategies to address them
- how water will be managed during extreme events such as flood or drought
- objectives and outcomes regarding the management of water for Aboriginal people
- a monitoring and evaluation plan.
The draft water resource plan is a reflection of our existing state legislation and water planning instruments. It is a compliance document that works as a road map of our water management plans, policies and activities. It translates our existing South Australian legislation and instruments into the format required by the MDBA to demonstrate how we are meeting our obligations.
The South Australian Government will finalise the draft water resource plan following feedback from the community consultation on the River Murray WAP, and advice from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
Once finalised, the South Australian River Murray Water Resource Plan will be formally submitted to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority for assessment and recommendation for accreditation by 30 June 2019.