The McLaren Vale Water Allocation Plan (WAP), which manages the use of groundwater in the McLaren Vale prescribed wells area (PWA), has announced a public review into the current management system.
As part of the review, the Board would like to hear as many community perspectives as possible. This short survey will help understand community views on the WAP and inform whether the WAP needs to be changed.
Community Survey – McLaren Vale WAP Community Survey – Water Allocation Plan for the McLaren Vale Prescribed Wells Area (surveymonkey.com)
The survey closes on 3 December 2021.
About The McLaren Vale Water Allocation Plan (WAP)
The surface water of the area is managed under the Western Mt Lofty Ranges WAP. The McLaren Vale PWA covers approximately 320 square kilometres, with the Onkaparinga River forming part of the northern boundary, while much of the south-eastern boundary follows the ridge of the Sellicks Range.
In the 2019-20 water use year, there were 468 water licences in the McLaren Vale PWA with a total allocation of 6,488 ML making up 0.24% of SA’s total water allocations. Actual use of licenced groundwater was around 5,000 ML, and currently the Willunga Basin Water Scheme (using recycled wastewater from the Christies Beach water treatment plant) provides an additional 7,120 ML/year.
Grapevines make up 96% of the gross value of irrigated agriculture in the area.
The McLaren Vale WAP was developed by the former Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, in collaboration with key stakeholders, and supported by the community-based McLaren Vale WAP Advisory Committee. The McLaren Vale WAP was adopted in 2007, replacing the WAP adopted in 2000. A review of the McLaren Vale Prescribed Wells Area Water Allocation Plan was conducted in 2011 without subsequent amendment.
Ongoing monitoring of the McLaren Vale PWA is undertaken by the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and the Department for Environment and Water. Results of this monitoring contributes to the production of groundwater status reports and will inform the review of the McLaren Vale WAP.
Engagement with the community and stakeholders is central to our approach to water allocation plan review and amendment. This includes forming an advisory committee and working with Kaurna who are the traditional owners of the area covered by the McLaren Vale WAP.
The review is supported by detailed scientific information, and The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board is working with specialists from the Department for Environment and Water.
Some of the issues being considered by the review include:
the condition and trends for each aquifer,
the impact of climate change,
how to include Aboriginal interests, and
restructuring rules to take account of the different characteristics of each aquifer.