A review of the science under-pinning reductions in the Lower Limestone Coast’s Water Allocation Plan (WAP) will result in changes to the reductions to water allocations set out in the plan.
The State Government put a hold on the 2018 reductions and asked the South East Natural Resources Management Board to further assess the science and potential risks to the region’s groundwater resources.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs has now considered the Board’s recommendations and will implement the following strategy, which he said is based on sound scientific evidence and the needs of licensed water holders:
“Although the level of risk in the MacDonnell and Joanna management areas has changed to high, reductions will not be implemented at this time, and we’ll talk to licensees in these areas to determine how to best manage risks,” said Minister Speirs.
“Previous reductions to allocations made in 2016 will not be returned as part of this process – this is a precautionary measure while further technical work is carried out over the next three years.
“Affected licensees will be provided further details in a letter from the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).
“I have also asked the South East NRM Board and DEW to meet with affected licensees in February to discuss the strategy and how it affects them.
“I sincerely thank the Lower Limestone Coast Science Review Stakeholder Advisory Group for representing the interests of a wide range of industries and the Board for implementing such a thorough and transparent review process.”