Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse

Consultation on the draft Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse 

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board propose to amend the water allocation plan in relation to Environmental Land Management Allocations (ELMA) as well as other minor changes.

A draft water allocation plan highlighting proposed policy changes has been released for public consultation from 28 September 2020 until 2 December 2020. 

The primary change is about how ELMA are distributed in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area (LMRIA). Other minor changes include:

  • updating references to the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 which has replaced the Natural Resources Management Act 2004
  • ensuring consistency with the recently revised River Murray Long Term Environmental Watering Plan. This factsheet contains more information.
  • provisions for water affecting activities related to drilling wells along the length of the River Murray to minimize impacts associated with connected water resources. This factsheet contains more information. 

Information about the proposed ELMA policy changes can be found in the ELMA factsheet. The proposed changes will only affect holders of a ELMA (Class 8) licence. 


Community meetings

 Two community meetings will be held for ELMA licensees to hear about the proposed changes and provide feedback. They have been scheduled for:

Tuesday 13 October, 10am at the Murray Bridge Club, 1 Murray Cods Drive, Murray Bridge

Tuesday 13 October, 1pm at the Murray Bridge Club, 1 Murray Cods Drive, Murray Bridge 

Registrations to attend either session is essential so that social distancing can be maintained in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. To register, please contact Rebecca Freshwater, Senior Project Officer River Murray by calling 0439 824 477 or email rebecca.freshwater@sa.gov.au 

If you are an ELMA licensee and would prefer a phone consultation then please call Rebecca Freshwater to arrange a suitable time.

People or stakeholder groups who do not hold ELMA licenses but would like to find out more about the proposed changes can request a phone consultation or ask to meet with staff of the landscape board by calling Rebecca Freshwater to arrange a suitable time. 


How to make a submission.

 The landscape board is keen to hear your views and is inviting submissions. All feedback will be considered by the landscape board and may contribute to the policies included in the final version of the draft plan. so it is important that you get involved and have your say. 

Written submissions can be emailed to rmwap.feedback@sa.gov.au or posted to:

Rebecca Freshwater

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board 

Upper level, CNR Mann and Walker Streets

Mount Barker SA 5251

 Or you could complete the electronic survey form.  A printable version of the survey form is also available but you will need to return this via Australia Post.

All submissions will be made public. If you would prefer your submission to remain anonymous, please indicate this in your written response or by checking the relevant box on the survey form. 

The closing date for all submissions is 5.00pm Wednesday 2 December 2020.


Current Water Allocation Plan

The River Murray is critical to South Australia's communities, industries, unique environment and way of life. The current Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse (the water allocation plan) is in place to manage and protect the river for all water users, and to make sure that water use is sustainable. 

The water allocation plan covers the River Murray downstream from the Victorian border and includes Lakes Alexandrina and Albert, part of Currency Creek, and the Finniss, Angas and Bremer Rivers. See the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse map.

The water allocation plan:

  • shares available water amongst all water users, including the environment, now and into the future
  • provides greater transparency for water users, especially about how water will be allocated. 


What do I need to know about the rules in the water allocation plan?

The water allocation plan sets out the rules for taking and using water to make sure that use is sustainable and to protect the water resource for current and future users. If you are a water user, it is important that you know about the rules in the water allocation plan.

Fact sheets that explain the policies in the water allocation plan are available and include:

Where can I find out more?

Find out more about:

Information about the water use year

The Department for Environment and Water will be providing regular updates on conditions and allocation announcements. Keep up to date here.

Arrangements are in place to help South Australia prepare for an extended dry period, including storage of water for critical human water needs and private carryover purposes, and activation of the policy for use of the Adelaide Desalination Plant in dry times. Tools such as flow reports and allocation probability scenarios will be provided to keep water users informed.

To find out more and to access tools to help prepare for the year ahead, please visit the DEW website here.

Basin Plan and Water Resource Plans

The water allocation plan forms part of the South Australian River Murray Water Resource Plan. Water resource plans are required to be prepared under the Basin Plan to show how we are sustainably managing the River Murray.

Water user’s obligations are met by complying with the water allocation plan.

The Department for Environment and Water has prepared the South Australian River Murray Water Resource Plan. To find out more visit their website here.

More information

To find out more about how the rules in the water allocation plan apply to you:

Printed copies of the water allocation plan are available if you would like to call a natural resources centre either in Berri 08 8580 1800 or Murray Bridge 08 8532 9100 and we can mail one out to you.

To talk through any of the policies in the water allocation plan, please contact the Senior Project Officer, River Murray Water Allocation Plan on 08 8463 6877 or email rmwap.feedback@sa.gov.au.

For more information about licensing, metering, or well permits please contact us on 08 8595 2053.

More information