Six Acts into one
The new Water Resources Management Act will consolidate the six existing Acts into one modernised Act. This Act will provide the following:
- Improved clarity of water entitlements and management decisions, support water trade, and reduce trading and licence processing costs.
- Consistency in rules for metropolitan and regional areas where it is practical to do so.
- Consolidate and clarify legislative provisions relating to:
- water quality
- environmental water provisions
- rules for protecting drinking water source quality (currently separate and different between country and metropolitan areas)
- rights to basic water for domestic use (currently different between surface water and groundwater)
- rules for drainage management (currently separate and different between country and metropolitan areas).
Two tier management framework based on risk:
- Tier 1: Simplified licensing and management for water resources that have low levels of allocation and are deemed to be a low management risk; and
- Tier 2: Statutory water allocation plans and water access entitlement arrangements for high risk and fully or over-allocated water resources where competition for water is high.
- Enable the level of assessment to be varied according to local conditions, circumstances and risk.
- Licence applications in fully-allocated water resources will no longer have to be accepted and assessed. This removes the administrative burden of assessing applications that will ultimately be rejected.