Home' Smart Farmer : September 2010 Contents September 2010
LIMATE change, land clearing
and shortages of water from
recent record drought have
resulted in most Australian states
imposing controls on the building of
The reasons for increased controls
• Ensure water flow to down-
• Maintain ecological flows.
• Prevent an increase in sedimen-
tation or erosion.
In South Australia, there are two
bodies responsible for approving the
building of a dam. Natural Resource
Management Boards will approve
dams which have a capacity smaller
than 5 megalitres or a dam wall less
than 3 metres in height.
The other approving body is local
council by virtue of the
Development Act, if the dam that
you are considering is larger than 5
megalitires in capacity and/or the
dam wall is more than 3 metres in
height. Also, dams situated inside
the declared Adelaide Hills face zone
need approval from local council.
Interestingly, the Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges Natural
Resource Management Board says
that "dams constructed for aesthetic
purposes are generally not support-
ed," but a low-flow bypass may be
This is explained by the board as
"a small weir used to direct low
stream flows around dams (to allow)
fish, frogs and plants to survive".
The water is considered an environ-
mental flow and can be a condition
of your permit to construct a dam.
There are two types of dams: on-
stream and off-stream.
An on-stream dam is a structure
placed across a watercourse to hold
or store the natural flow of water.
An off-stream dam is not con-
structed across a watercourse and is
designed to hold water diverted from
a watercourse, an aquifer or from
The diversion includes pumping
water from a water resource to the
off-stream dam. Permission may be
given to capture a limited volume of
surface water from the catchment
above the dam. You would need to
speak with your approving authority
to see if your circumstances would
The approval criteria for both
types of dams are:
• Local soil conditions and salinity
• The need for low flow by-passes
• Remnant vegetation
• The need to protect aquatic
• Dam construction and design
• The number and size of dams
• Minimum flow requirements
• Impacts on downstream users
• Protection of habitat for threat-
• Other special criteria relating to
Percat recommends that separate
advice should be sought from local
specialists and your approving
authority regarding your specific
• Need to know more?
1300 737 228 or www.percatwater.com
Dams under strict control
The Adelaide and MLRNRNB says that "dams constructed for aesthetic
purposes are generally not supported," but you may be permitted to have a
Farm dam construction controls
Two bodies determine permits
Approval criteria explained
with DR RJ (Bob) O'BRIEN
Last Price ($/ML) Buy ($/ML) Sell ($/ML)
No Buyers $950.00
(General Security without exit fees)
$1,800.00 $1,750.00 $1,860.00
$1,750.00 $1,750.00 $1,750.00
This Week Last Week Last Year
MDB Authority Storages
Blowering Reservoir (NSW)
Eildon Reservoir (Vic)
The price of temporary water has continued to soften over the past week. If
irrigators receive an increase in allocations tomorrow we may see the price
Last week's newsletter stated that irrigators buying 'top-up' water would
incur a transfer fee.
The following day the River Murray Minister Paul Caica announced that
funding for the River Murray Drought Program will continue to waive fees for
SA irrigators looking to buy temporary water as 'top-up'.
MARKETS August 30 2010
Percat's Spot Market Prices
DISCLAIMER These facts and figures are based on information obtained by Percat Water
Traders from its own sources and from different water authorities. Readers should make their
own enquiries about prices and the information provided here. The information is not provided
for investment purposes and individual valuations are recommended.
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Building a Dam
Failure to hold water is the most common problem for farm dams.
Repairing a Dam
Structural repairs are expensive and not always successful. Sealant
treatments normally require you to empty your dam.
An Easy Solution
To create a permanent plug to seal the area where the water is being
lost. Water$ave Plug is a unique blend in powdered form when applied to
a dam that is leaking will get sucked into those problem areas where your
water is being lost. WaterSave Plug will expand creating a permanent
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Well I'll be buggered. IT WORKS! After about three days, there was a marked decrease in the loss rate,
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