Water allocation-irrigation-barossa vineyard

Barossa Water Security Strategy & Water Allocation Plan Review

Earlier this year the State Government commenced the development of a Water Security Strategy for the Barossa and Eden Valleys region. The changing climate and its impact on existing water resources and the increasing demand for water in the region are said to be key drivers of the Strategy which is intended to form a long-term plan to meet the water needs of the Barossa in the future.

The project is being led by the Department of Environment and Water in partnership with PIRSA, SA Water, the Environment Protection Authority, Northern & Yorke Landscape Board, Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), Barossa Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the Barossa Council, Light Regional Council, RDA Barossa Gawler Light and Adelaide Plains.

Consultation with Barossa stakeholders in a series of three workshops between June and November this year will inform a final draft Strategy. The Strategy will be an overarching policy document planning for future demand up to 2050. The material published by the Department to date provides little in the way of likely detail of the strategy, however, it is likely to incorporate projects identified for development through the Federal Government’s National Water Grid construction program such as the construction of a recycled water pipeline from Bolivar to the Barossa, a second pipeline servicing Eden Valley, and the installation of additional storage infrastructure.

Finalisation of the ten-year review of the Barossa Water Allocation Plan (required in 2019) has been deferred pending the outcome of the Water Security Strategy. Amendments to the Barossa Water Allocation Plan adopted in 2009 are foreshadowed once commitments are made to the water security strategy and the future water resources and needs can be more accurately forecast. An announcement on the Water Security Strategy may be made by the Department as early as February 2022.

Irrigators and holders of water licences in the Barossa and Eden Valleys region, and anyone with an interest in the future of water use in the region will have an opportunity to have their say in respect of the draft Water Security Strategy which is scheduled to be released for public consultation between December 2021 and January 2022.

If you have any questions contact us on 08 8212 9777 or at info@bllawyers.com.au or https://bllawyers.com.au/contact