Legislation, agreements and policy
Water Resources within South Australia are managed under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019(Landscape SA Act).
In areas where there are limited risks to the water resources, high-level principles in statutory regional landscape plans and specific principles to guide water affecting activities work together to protect the resources and dependent ecosystems.
Where there are greater risks to the water resources, water resources are prescribed and water allocation plans are prepared. Water allocation plans provide the framework for the taking and use of water from the resource, rules for trade and other rules to protect the resource, water dependent ecosystems and third parties. Water licences are issued to existing users when a water resource is first prescribed and these become a property right which can be traded consistent with the provisions in the water allocation plan.
The South Australian Government is responsible for sustainably managing the state’s water resources. A number of agencies deliver legislated water management functions. There are also multiple agencies and organisations that undertake water management functions across Australia.
The legislative and policy framework for water planning in South Australia includes:
- National Water Initiative
- Water Act 2007 (Cth), which includes the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement
- Basin Plan
- Water Programs in the Murray-Darling Basin
- Urban Water Reforms
- Landscape South Australia Act 2019 and associated regulations
- Water Industry Act 2012
- State Landscape Strategy (under development)
- Water Security Statement (draft)
- Essential Services Commission of SA (ESCOSA) – Water Overview
- South East Drainage Strategy
- Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy
- SA Water Legislation and Policies
- Water Sensitive Urban Design
- Water Sensitive Urban Design Technical Manual
- Regional Landscape Plans
- Regional Water Allocation Plans
- Regional Water Affecting Activity Control Policies
- Groundwater (Border Agreement) Act 1985