NT Water Allocation Planning Areas (WAP)

A water allocation plan (WAP) is a legal document that sets out the rules for managing the take and use of water resources to ensure resource sustainability. It is developed with the community, industry and key stakeholders for each water resource identified as being significant. A WAP ensures that the needs of the environment are taken into account when determining how much water is made available for consumptive purposes (licensed and non-licensed). It sets the amount of water that will be available, how that water may be allocated to users, and the types of activities that are permitted with that water. Once a WAP is in place, water users can apply for a licence, transfer water between users and a range of other activities subject to the rules and limits of the WAP. WAP aim to protect the environment and equitably share the available water between users, to ensure the long term sustainability of the water resource. Plans are developed in regions where there are competing demands for water, there is risk from water use on significant environmental or cultural values, or a need to manage the whole system (surface water and groundwater reserves) due to their significant inter-connection. WAP detail the area and water resource to which the plan applies, as well as the vision, objectives, strategies and performance indicators of the plan. A WAP includes the following: - A description of the water resource and its characteristics; - Rationale about the need for the plan, its legal basis and effect; - Clear purpose, objectives, outcomes, strategies and performance indicators; - Explanation of historic, current and projected demand on the water resources; - Sustainable yield and allocation of water to Beneficial Uses; - A description of the risks and uncertainties; - Rules for management of licences and permits; and - Monitoring and reporting arrangements. Developing the draft WAP can take several years. Draft WAP are released for public comment and submissions before being finalised and implemented. A finalised WAP applies for up to 10 years and is reviewed at least every five years. The review process provides an opportunity to assess progress and fine tune the WAP based on new information gained through its monitoring program. The Water Act allows for the declaration of WAPs within Water Control Districts (WCDs), ensuring water is equitably managed to preserve quality of life and the integrity of the water dependent ecosystems in the region. WAPs are being developed on a priority basis in areas where there are competing demands for human consumptive needs and/or where natural aquatic ecosystems have significant ecological or social values. There are 4 declared water allocation plans: - Alice Springs - Katherine Tindall - Western Davenport - Berry Springs There are 4 water allocation plans with In progress or draft status. - Oolloo Dolostone In progress - Great Artesian Basin - Draft - Ti Tree - Draft - Howard - In progress - Mataranka Tindall - In progress

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Last Updated 23 June 2021
Published 10 December 2019