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Legislation, agreements and policy

Water Resources within South Australia are managed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act).

In areas where there are limited risks to the water resources, high level principles within the statutory NRM Plans, together with specific principles to guide water affecting activities, provide appropriate protection for the resource and dependent ecosystems.

Where there are greater risks to the water resources, water allocation plans (WAPs) are prepared. WAPs outlines the maximum consumptive take from the resource, any limitations on purposes of take, rules for trade and other rules for the protection of the resource, dependent ecosystems and third parties. Water licences are issued to existing users and these become a property right able to be traded consistent with the provisions in the WAP.

Water agencies and stakeholders

The legislation and policy that forms the framework for water planning in South Australia are:




Water for Good

The Water for Good plan was developed by the South Australian Government in 2009 to provide our state with the most secure water supply system in southern Australia. Its vision is that Greater Adelaide will not need water restrictions – beyond permanent water conservation measures – more than once in every 100 years. The plan outlines 94 actions we are taking to create more water and to better use the water that we do have. 

 The state's approach to water security is based on the following key priorities: 

  • Diversification of our water resources
  • Improving the way we use water
  • Modernising the water industry
  • Improving governance.

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