The amended Tintinara- Coonalpyn Water Allocation Plan (WAP) was adopted by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation on the 23 April 2012.Key policies within the WAP include:
- Defining sustainable water allocation limits for the water Management areas within the Tintinara-Coonalpyn Prescribed Wells Area
- Adjusting water allocations to meet the adopted limits where necessary, in the Tintinara (unconfined) and Tolmer (confined) Management areas
- Changes to the volumetric allocation methodology
- Increased flexibility of trade and transfers of allocations
- Carry-over policy for unused allocation
Water Allocation Plan and Fact Sheets
2012 Tintinara-Coonalpyn Water Allocation Plan - click here
Confined Aquifer Fact Sheet - 2011
Unconfined Aquifer Fact Sheet - 2011
Reductions to Water Allocations Fact Sheet - 2011
The Tintinara Coonalpyn groundwater resource is currently managed under a water allocation plan (WAP). The current WAP for the Prescribed Wells Area (PWA) was adopted by the Honourable Paul Caica on 23 April 2012. The current WAP is an amended version of the 2001 WAP, and has taken six years of work to reach finalisation.
The amendment and development of the current WAP has had a strong community input and the community were able influence the amendments through the Tintinara – Coonalpyn Water Allocation Planning Committee, which met over 30 times since October 2006 to assist the SE NRM Board in its development.
The current (2012) WAP supersedes the 2001 Tintinara-Coonalpyn Prescribed Wells Area Water Allocation Plan.
Prescribed Wells Area Background
The Tintinara Coonalpyn PWA is located in the Upper South East of South Australia, approximately 200 kilometres south east of Adelaide and covers an area of 3,423 km2. The PWA includes the Hundreds of Archibald, Carcuma, Coneybeer, Coombe, Lewis, Livingstone, Makin, McCallum, and Richards and incorporates the major towns of Coonalpyn and Tintinara.
The climate in the Tintinara Coonalpyn PWA is typical of the South East; hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The average annual rainfall in Tintinara (1900 to 2007) is 462 mm with annual evaporation estimated at 1,670mm. In Coonalpyn the average annual rainfall (1887 to 2007) is slightly less at 452mm.
A total of 7,885 hectares of crops were irrigated using unconfined aquifer water in the Tintinara Coonalpyn PWA in 2008/09, representing around 2% of the total land area in the PWA. The major irrigated crop in the Tintinara Coonalpyn area is lucerne pasture/hay, covering 3,125 hectares, closely followed by seed production at 2,387 hectares, which is a regionally significant and valuable industry. Other irrigated crops include cereal at 238 hectares, and vegetables, covering 218 hectares. Another significant irrigated crop grown is olives at 957 hectares, which relies on confined aquifer water. Small areas of pasture other than lucerne, and potatoes are also grown in the district.
The Prescribed Resource
The prescribed water resources of the Tintinara Coonalpyn Prescribed Wells Area consist of two distinct underground water aquifer systems, a regionally unconfined limestone aquifer and an underlying confined aquifer system.
Review of the Current WAP
The concept statement for the review of the Tintinara Coonalpyn 2003 WAP was released for a 6 week consultation period on 25th October 2007. The consultation on the concept statement concept statement was the first step in the development of the new WAP. The concept statement sets out the proposed content of the new WAP including the investigations and consultation to be undertaken. The concept statement will act as a guide for the review of the WAP and does not explore issues in detail or provide solutions as this will be undertaken during the review and drafting of the new WAP.
Hydrogeological Review of the Tintinara Coonalpyn Prescribed Wells Area (PWA)
As part of the WAP review process a study on the condition of the groundwater resources for the PWA has been completed. The study reviewed groundwater level and salinity trends, groundwater monitoring and the possible impacts of the taking and use of water from the PWA on any other water resource. A summary of the reports findings for the confined and unconfined aquifers is available below. The report provides information and recommendations that will form the basis of policy developed for the new WAP.
Development of the Draft WAP for the Tintinara Coonalpyn PWA
Following the release of the concept statement for the review of the current WAP and the release of the Hydrogeological Review of the Tintinara Coonalpyn PWA the SE NRM Board and Tintinara Coonalpyn WAP Committee developed policy options for the SE NRM Board to consider for drafting into the amended WAP. A draft version of the WAP was consulted upon with the community from May to July 2011, where the SE NRM Board called for submissions on the draft amended WAP.
Licensees and landholders were sent a package of three information sheets outlining the main proposals in the draft Plan and an invitation to attend an information day, a community consultation meeting on the contents of the draft Plan and/or provide comment in writing.
An information day was held on 30 May 2011 from 1 - 6 p.m. at Tintinara, to provide community members with the opportunity to ask questions of Board and/or Department for Water staff, to aid understanding of the draft Plan in advance of the community consultation meeting. A total of 17 community members attended the information day.
A community consultation meeting was held on 7 June 2011 at Tintinara from 6 - 9 p.m. A total of 12 community members attended the meeting. In addition, a total of four written submissions were received by 5 p.m. on 8 July 2011, with a further three written submissions received after the closing date. Community comments were also recorded at the community consultation meetings.
The SE NRM Board considered all the submissions and recommended adoption of the WAP to the then Minister for Environment and Conservation in August 2011.
The Minister adopted the WAP on the 23 April 2012.