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Tatiara Water Allocation Plan

If you have a water licence or are looking to get a licence in the Tatiara area you should understand the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan.

The current Tatiara Water Allocation Plan was developed in close consultation with the community and used the best available science at the time.

Tatiara Water Allocation Plan [PDF, 1.5 MB]

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board develops and maintains water allocation plans as outlined in the Landscape South Australia Act 2019. The plans are developed with environmental, social, cultural and economic needs in mind and seek to ensure long term sustainability and security of the resource.

The Tatiara Water Allocation Plan is being amended

In 2017 a review of the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan was undertaken. Review resulted in the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan moving into an amendment process. This amendment process is currently underway.

Find out more about the review and amendment of the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan

During the process to amend the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan all water licensing business will continue as per usual. The Department for Environment and Water Licensing Team are your contact for all licensing matters.

Water resources in the Tatiara Prescribed Wells Area

Water resources in the area consist of an unconfined aquifer and a confined aquifer. The upper unconfined aquifer is recharged through rainfall. A thick clay layer sits under the unconfined aquifer preventing recharge into the confined aquifer and connectivity between the aquifers.

The Tatiara Prescribed Wells Area supports close to 400 water licences.

Water resource in the unconfined aquifer

The unconfined aquifer is continuous across the prescribed wells area. It is wedge shaped and thins from the east to the west. In the eastern highlands the depth to water can exceed 40 metres reflecting the elevated topography. Well yields vary but are generally higher in the coastal plain and lower in the eastern highlands. Generally, salinity of the unconfined aquifer ranges from approximately 1000 mg/L in the east to more than 8000 mg/L in the west.

The unconfined aquifer is divided into eight management areas.

Water resource in the confined aquifer

Much of the water in the confined aquifer is over 25,000 years old. For management purposes the confined aquifer is treated regionally as one aquifer. It is actually a complex multi-aquifer system. Recharge to the confined aquifer occurs via lateral through-flow. The main recharge area is the Dundas plateau in Western Victoria.

The confined aquifer is divided into five management areas.

The Border Groundwaters Agreement and the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan

The Border Groundwaters Agreement is an agreement between the South Australian and Victorian Governments to manage the groundwater resources along the border in a sustainable manner. It applies to a 40 km wide strip centred on the border of South Australia and Victoria known as the Designated Area. The Designated Area is divided into management zones. The Tatiara Prescribed Wells Area includes the northern part of Zone 7A, all of Zone 8A and the southern part of Zone 9A of the Designated Area. Under the Groundwater (Border Agreement) Act 1985, the Border Groundwaters Agreement Review Committee sets a limit to the volume of water permitted to be extracted from licensed wells in each Zone of the Designated Area. The Border Groundwaters Agreement prevents the granting of new allocations or renewing temporary allocations in excess of that limit.

Find out more about the Border Groundwaters Agreement

History of the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan

The current version of the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan was adopted on 7 June 2010. It has been amended four times since it was adopted in 2010. Amendment has occurred in 2012, 2014, 2015.

In 2016 there was a review of the water allocation plans in the upper Limestone Coast. This review considered areas for improvement in the Tintinara-Coonalpyn, Tatiara and Padthaway water allocation plans. It also considered amalgamation of the three plans. The outcome of review was to not amalgamate the three plans and identified some areas for improvement were. Amendment has since started for the Tatiara Water Allocation Plan.

Summary of 2012, 2014 and 2015 amendments