ACT Water Resource Plan

The ACT Government is drafting an ACT Water Resource Plan as part of its commitments under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

The draft plan provides an overview of water resources in the ACT, and the policy approach to water planning and management. It sets out the government’s plan for the management of the Territory’s surface water and groundwater resources, including managing water use under the ‘sustainable diversion limits’ set for the ACT, long-term environmental flow arrangements and water quality management.

The draft ACT Water Resource Plan comprises:

  • a comprehensive report describing mandated elements of water resource planning
  • an index and tables that respond to specific legislative requirements.

The main components of the draft plan are:

  • identification of ACT water resources
  • management of the ACT’s surface water and groundwater in accordance with the sustainable diversion limits set for the ACT
  • a water quality and salinity management plan
  • risk assessment process and outcomes
  • consideration of Indigenous water values and uses
  • environmental watering requirements
  • planning for extreme events such as dry periods.

The draft Water Resource Plan uses existing ACT water resources legislation to demonstrate how water is managed in the ACT. The ACT Government has consulted stakeholder groups to inform the development of the draft plan, including local Aboriginal organisations, Icon Water, ACT water experts and ACT Government water groups, and the public through two public consultations held in 2016.

Submission of the ACT’s draft water resource plan for approval to the MDBA is scheduled for February 2019.