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By MALCOLM SUTTON
ROWERS in the Adelaide Hills are
becoming increasingly frustrated with
a delayed water plan proposed for the
Despite the draft Western Mount Lofty
Ranges Water Allocation Plan being released
in October 2010 and a public consultation
period ending more than 15 months ago, the
amended plan is yet to be announced.
New licensing conditions for water users
will be intoduced, along with regulations on
dam use and water diversions and landhold-
ers are delaying infrastructure investments
until they know the plan's details.
Apple and Pear Growers Association of
South Australia chief executive officer Susie
Green, Lenswood, said growers were feeling
frustrated with a lack of security in the
"Until we know what we're definitely deal-
ing with it's a bit hard to put management
plans in place and go forward," she said.
"The benchmark keeps changing, so to
Former APGSA CEO Greg Cramond said it
was disappointing that people were being
kept in the dark.
He said there had been very little commu-
nication from the Adelaide and Mt Lofty
Ranges Natural Resources Management
Board about individual water allocations and
people did not have concrete ideas about
what to expect. "We were told the water
licences would be rolled out late last year,
then it was going to be early this year, and
now we're midway through this year and
there's no sign it's any closer," he said.
"It would be nice to have some light shed
on these things and for growers to get on
with their lives.
"From an administration point of view, the
whole thing is a bit of a disgrace."
The draft WMLR WAP caused a public
backlash following its release in October,
2010, after it proposed licensed meters for
commercial irrigation dams and rainwater
tanks that held more than 5 megalitres of
1700 of the region's 13,000 dams were to
An initial plan to meter stock and domestic
dams with a capacity of 5mG or more was
later abandoned by the ALMLR NRMB fol-
lowing a rowdy public meeting at Strathalbyn
during March last year.
SAFF Natural Resources Committee chair-
man Joe Keynes says he encouraged the
board to tell people what the delays are, or at
least give landholders confidence by know-
ing what their licence conditions would be.
"The WAP is a valuable tool to manage the
water equitably across all water users, but the
process needs to ensure it brings the commu-
nity along with it, by keeping them
An AMLR NRMB spokesperson says the
plan has been revised and submitted to
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and
Conservation Paul Caica, who was consider-
ing it for adoption.
"Developing the water allocation plan has
been a complex process and this is the first
time a plan of this scale has been developed
in SA," she said.
"In parallel with the Minister considering
the WAP, a number of processes for managing
the water resource are being refined, based
on community and industry feedback, before
the plan is implemented.
"These processes include securing low
A long wa
for dam t
Updated water plan yet to be released
Public consultation finished more than 15 months a
Growers delaying investments
flows for the environment.
"The Department for Water, the SA Murray-
Darling Basin and WMLR NRM boards are
working together on a strategic placement pro-
gram to determine where low flows need to be
secured and the best actions to take in each sit-
A plan for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges
was released for public consultation by the
SAMDB NRMB during April last year.
It proposed similar metering plans for 500 of
the regions 7000 dams, as well the installation
of low flow bypasses in some cases to ensure
environmental flows were sustained.
It did not include stock and domestic dams
in its proposal -- and the amended EMLR WAP
is yet to be released.
Apple and Pear Growers
Association of SA CEO Susie Green
(above), Lenswood, says the
delayed release of an amended
Water Allocation Plan proposed for
the region is frustrating growers.
A plan for the Eastern Mount Lofty
Ranges was released for public
consultation by the SAMDB NRMB
during April last year. It proposed
similar metering plans for 500 of
the regions 7000 dams.
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