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Urban water legislation, policies and plans

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Water management in our towns and cities is underpinned by legislation frameworks, policies and plans that address the many different aspects of urban water management. A summary of relevant legislation, policies and plans is provided in the table below.

P = Potable water supply | NP = Non-potable water supply | SE = Sewerage | ST = Stormwater | NE = Natural environments

Instrument

Relation to urban water management

Water cycle service area

P NP SE ST NE

Australian Government urban water initiatives

Policy and reform in the area of urban water

COAG and Department for Agriculture leading a renewed approach to national urban water reform and addresses key challenges in urban water.

X

X X X X

Water policy and resources

Department for Agriculture supporting the sustainable management and productive use of Australia’s water resources.

X

X

 

X

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation

Department for Agriculture leading national Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

X X X X X

South Australian urban water Legislation and Regulations

Landscape South Australia Act 2019

Water Resources within South Australia are managed under this Act that provides for the natural resources protection, including the management and allocation of water resources.

X

X

X

X

Water Industry Act 2012 and Water Industry Regulations 2012

Provides for the regulation of water retail services and sewerage retail services, including in relation to service pricing and technical and safety issues.

X

X X

South Australian Public Health Act 2011 and South Australian Public Health (Wastewater) Regulations 2013

Act provides head powers to respond to public health risks (including water related public health risks).

X X X X

Safe Drinking Water Act 2011

Provides for the registration of drinking water providers and is based on the implementation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (non-mandatory standard).

X

Local Government Act 1999 –functions

Includes general stormwater management functions of local councils including to provide infrastructure that helps to protect the community from any hazard.

X

Local Government Act 1999 –Schedule 1A (amendment to the LG Act introduced in 2006)

Establishes the Stormwater Management Authority and the Stormwater Management Fund for stormwater management planning and implementation.

X

X

Environment Protection Act 1993

Aims for protection against environmental harm including harm to natural waters due to polluted water discharges.

X

X X

Metropolitan Drainage Act 1935 and South-Western Suburbs Drainage Act 1959

Largely outdated legislation that provided for the establishment of major drainage infrastructure in specific areas of metropolitan Adelaide.

 

 

 

X

 

South Australian urban water policies

Environmental Protection (Water Quality) Policy (2015)

Defines in relation to waters ‘environmental harm’ and general environmental duty. Provides a system of offences for pollutant discharge.

X

X

Water Sensitive Urban Design. Creating more liveable and water sensitive cities in South Australia (2013).

Sets out the overall aim, objectives, principles, targets and implementation actions for water sensitive urban design (WSUD).

X

X

State Planning Policies (SPPs), under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016

Includes objectives and policies for climate ready development; coast and marine protection; water security (including WSUD principles); and natural hazards resilience.

X

X X

South Australian and National Agreements related to urban water

CWMS funding agreement (2017)

Funding deed for State support to local council development of community wastewater management schemes.

X

Agreement on Stormwater Management between the Government of South Australia and the Local Government Association of South Australia (2013)

Provides that stormwater management is shared responsibility and setting out various stormwater management responsibilities of State and Local Government.

X

X

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Agreement (2005)

Agreement to establish and maintain nationally consistent water efficiency labelling and standards for common domestic fixtures and appliances.

X

National Water Initiative (2004)

National agreement which includes several completed urban water related commitments to help facilitate the creation of 'water sensitive cities'

X

X X

South Australian urban water strategies and plans

Stormwater Management Authority Strategic Plan 2015 – 2025

Establishes vision and goals for Stormwater Planning and Implementation in South Australia

 

X


X

 

Adelaide Coastal Waters Quality Improvement Plan (2013)

A long-term strategy to achieve and sustain water quality consistent with community expectations for Adelaide’s coastal waters.

X X X

Stormwater Strategy: the Future of Stormwater Management (2011)

A ‘road map’ for stormwater management that outlines proposed priority issues for action.

X X

Water for Good: A plan to ensure water future to 2050 (2010)

Water security plan for South Australia. Most of the actions have been completed.

X X

 

 

 

Regional and local water management plans

Water allocation plans

Some Water Allocation Plans are for prescribed water resources within and/or taken for use in urban areas.

X

X X

Stormwater management plans

Plans for the Adelaide metropolitan catchments and country towns that address existing stormwater problems and identify beneficial opportunities. Plans are not listed here, but can be accessed directly from local councils or the Stormwater Management Authority.

 

X


X

 

Local council water management plans

Many local councils have urban water management strategies. These plans are not listed here, but can be accessed directly from local councils or via the Urban Water Reference Catalogue .

X

X X

South Australian and National urban water guidelines

Australian Rainfall and Runoff (2019)

National guideline document, data and software suite that can be used for the estimation of design flood characteristics in Australia.

X

X

South Australian Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) Design Criteria (2019)

Design criteria for all types of CWMS with particular focus on South Australian conditions.

X

South Australian Community Wastewater Management Systems Code (2013)

Procedures and technical requirements for design, approval, installation and operation of onsite wastewater systems and, where applicable, their connection to a CWMS.

 

 

X

 

 

South Australian on-site Wastewater Management Systems Code (2013)

Procedures and technical requirements for design, approval, installation and operation of on-site wastewater systems and, where applicable, their connection to a CWMS.

 

 

X

 

 

National Guidelines for water recycling

Designed to provide an authoritative reference that can be used to support beneficial and sustainable recycling of waters generated from sewage, grey water and stormwater. Includes guidelines for Managed Aquifer Recharge.

X

X X

National Guidance on use of rainwater tanks (2010)

Information on potential water quality hazards, measures to prevent these contaminating rainwater, monitoring and maintenance activities and corrective actions

 

X


X

 

Evaluating options for water sensitive urban design – a national guide (2009)

Guidelines to help advance water sensitive urban design practices within Australia.

 

X


X X

National guidelines for water quality management

Non-mandatory guidelines, including those for the acceptance of trade waste into sewers, bio-solids management, and sewerage system overflows.

X X

Code of practice for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (2004)

SA EPA requirements for the storage and recovery of waters in aquifers.


X

 

 

 

Australian guidelines for urban runoff management (2000)

Developed under the National Water Quality Management Strategy, the guideline aimed to provide a nationally consistent approach for managing urban stormwater in an ecologically sustainable manner

 

 

 

X

 

Pollution Prevention Codes of Practice (1999)

SA EPA guides for site erosion reduction to reduce construction stormwater pollution.

X

X

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