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Contents (2000 - 92)
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Water Management Act 2000 No 92
Current version for 1 July 2019 to date (accessed 19 October 2019 at 10:34)
Chapter 2 Part 1 Division 2
Division 2 State Water Management Outcomes Plan and water source classification
6   State Water Management Outcomes Plan
(1)  The Governor may, by order published in the Gazette, establish a State Water Management Outcomes Plan for the development, conservation, management and control of the State’s water resources in furtherance of the objects of this Act.
(2)  The objects of a State Water Management Outcomes Plan are as follows:
(a)  to set the over-arching policy context, targets and strategic outcomes for the management of the State’s water sources, having regard to:
(i)  relevant environmental, social and economic considerations, and
(ii)  the results of any relevant monitoring programs,
(b)  to promote the water management principles established by this Act,
(c)  to give effect to any State government policy statement in relation to salinity strategies.
(3)  The State Water Management Outcomes Plan must be consistent with:
(a)  government obligations arising under any inter-governmental agreement to which the government is a party, such as the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement set out in Schedule 1 to the Water Act 2007 of the Commonwealth, and
(b)  government obligations arising in connection with any international agreement to which the government of the Commonwealth is a party, and
(c)  State government policy, including State government policy in relation to the environmental objectives for water quality and river flow.
(4)  For the purposes of this section, State government policy includes such matters as are declared by the regulations to be State government policy.
(5)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the public consultation procedures to be complied with in relation to the establishment or amendment of a State Water Management Outcomes Plan.
(6)  A State Water Management Outcomes Plan has effect for the period of 5 years commencing on the date on which it is published in the Gazette.
7   Classification of water sources
(1)  The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, classify water sources for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  Such an order may only be made with the concurrence of the Minister for the Environment.
(3)  Water sources are to be classified as follows:
(a)  as to the extent to which they are at risk (that is, the extent to which harm to the water source or its dependent ecosystems is likely to occur),
(b)  as to the extent to which they are subject to stress (that is, the extent to which harm to the water source or its dependent ecosystems has occurred or is occurring),
(c)  as to the extent of their conservation value (that is, the extent to which their intrinsic value merits protection from risk and stress).
(4)  It is the intention of Parliament that, within 12 months after the date of assent to this Act:
(a)  the water sources of the State be classified in accordance with this section, and
(b)  bulk access regimes be established for such of those water sources as are classified high risk, high stress or high conservation value.
(5)  A bulk access regime referred to in subsection (4) (b) is to be established by means of a Minister’s plan made, in the case of a water source that is within a water management area for which a management committee has been established, in consultation with that committee.
(6)  A bulk access regime referred to in subsection (4) (b) has effect for 10 years from the date on which it is established, but may be varied under section 45 as if it had been established by a management plan, in which case section 87 applies accordingly.
(7)  The regulations may prescribe rules in accordance with which water sources are to be classified for the purposes of this Act.
8   Environmental water
(1)  For the purposes of this Act, environmental water comprises the following:
(a)  water that is committed by management plans for fundamental ecosystem health or other specified environmental purposes, either generally or at specified times or in specified circumstances, and that cannot to the extent committed be taken or used for any other purpose (planned environmental water),
(b)  water (licensed environmental water) that is:
(i)  committed by an adaptive environmental water condition under section 8B, 8C, 8D or 63B, or
(ii)  taken or permitted to be taken under a licence of an environmental subcategory, or
(iii)  taken or permitted to be taken under a licence of a class prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.
(1A)  A management plan is to commit water as planned environmental water in at least 2 of the following ways (whether by 2 separate ways or a combination of 2 ways):
(a)  by reference to the commitment of the physical presence of water in the water source,
(b)  by reference to the long-term average annual commitment of water as planned environmental water,
(c)  by reference to the water that is not committed after the commitments to basic landholder rights and for sharing and extraction under any other rights have been met.
(2)  A management plan must contain provisions for the identification, establishment and maintenance of planned environmental water (environmental water rules). The environmental water rules relating to a water source do not need to specify that a minimum quantity of water is required to be present in the water source at all times.
(3)  Environmental water rules are to be established for all of the water sources in the State as soon as practicable after the commencement of this section.
(4)    (Repealed)
8A   Planned environmental water
(1)  The Minister may cancel any category or subcategory of licence prescribed by the regulations that is held by the Minister and commit an equivalent amount of water as determined in accordance with the management plan as planned environmental water for the water source to which the licence related.
(2)  Planned environmental water committed under this section is to be used for only those purposes specified in the relevant management plan.
(3)  Sections 78, 78A and 87 do not apply to the cancellation of an access licence under this section.
8B   Adaptive environmental water through dedication of existing water entitlements
(1)  The holder of an access licence may request that the Minister impose an adaptive environmental water condition in respect of the whole or a part of the access licence.
(2)  A condition imposed under this section may be amended, and is to be revoked, by the Minister at the request in writing of the holder of the access licence, except as provided by the regulations.
8C   Adaptive environmental water through system improvements
(1)  The Minister may grant an access licence of a category or subcategory determined by the Minister to the Minister, Local Land Services or another public body, without the need for an application to be made for the licence in accordance with Part 2 of Chapter 3, so long as:
(a)  works or other actions result in water savings in the system being made in the water source in respect of which the licence is granted, and
(b)  the share component of the licence is equivalent to the value of water savings in the system made, and
(c)  an adaptive environmental water condition is imposed on the licence.
(2)  In this section, system means that part of a water source to which a management plan applies that is not identified by the plan for commitments to basic landholder rights and for sharing and extraction under any other rights.
8D   Adaptive environmental water conditions after surrender of licences
(1)  The Minister may keep an access licence surrendered by the holder of the licence or transfer it to Local Land Services or another public body, and may change the licence to a different category or subcategory, if:
(a)  the share component of the licence is equivalent to the share component of the surrendered licence (subject to the application of any conversion factor prescribed by the access licence dealing principles or the regulations), and
(b)  an adaptive environmental water condition is or has been imposed on the licence.
(2)  The Minister may cancel an access licence surrendered by the holder of the licence and transfer the share component of the surrendered licence (subject to the application of any conversion factor prescribed by the access licence dealing principles or the regulations) to another licence if an adaptive environmental water condition is or has been imposed on the licence.
8E   General provisions relating to access licences with adaptive environmental water conditions
(1)  This section applies to access licences that are subject to an adaptive environmental water condition.
(2)  For the purposes of this Act (but subject to section 8B (2)), an adaptive environmental water condition is a mandatory condition.
(3)  The terms of an adaptive environmental water condition imposed in respect of an access licence are to further the objectives of the relevant management plan.
(4)  If the adaptive environmental water condition on an access licence requires the water to be left in the water source for environmental purposes, then the water allocation account is to be debited when the water is available in accordance with the condition.
(5)  If the adaptive environmental water condition requires the environmental water to be taken from the water source then the water allocation account is to be debited when it is taken.
(6)    (Repealed)
(7)  Before imposing an adaptive environmental water condition on an access licence, the Minister is to approve a plan for the implementation of the condition.
(8)  The Minister is to ensure that the plan referred to in subsection (7), and a requirement to comply with the plan, forms part of the adaptive environmental water condition.
(9)  An access licence to which this section applies, or a part of such a licence to which the adaptive environmental water condition concerned is expressed to relate, may be the subject of a dealing in accordance with this Act if the plan approved under subsection (7) so provides.
8F   Auditing of compliance with extraction limits
(1)  This section applies for the purpose of auditing compliance with the long-term extraction limit (however expressed) under a management plan.
(2)  The long-term extraction limit is taken to be varied by the amount of any change to the amount of water committed as licensed environmental water.
(3)  The variation in the long-term extraction limit is to be determined in accordance with a methodology approved by the Minister and published in the Gazette.
(4)  To avoid doubt, water savings in a system (within the meaning of section 8C) are not to be taken into account when determining the variation.
(5)  Water committed as licensed environmental water is not to be accounted for as extraction.