Home' Grower : October 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- October 2012
nears as SA dry spell looms
domestic dams with a capacity of
5mL or higher before it was
removed from the draft plan
following an extensive community
backlash in March last year.
There has been little progress
announced since, but SAFF natural
resources committee chair Joe
Keynes hopes recent concessions on
licensing conditions for rainwater
collection is a sign of progress.
Last month, the State Environment,
Water and Natural Resources
Department announced that property
owners in surface water prescribed
areas could collect up to 1500
kilolitres of roof run-off and use it for
commercial, industrial, environmental,
recreational and irrigation purposes
without a water licence.
Existing policy meant only up to
500kL could be collected for
irrigation purposes (there is no
regulation on rainwater take in areas
where surface water is not
"It's up to individuals to work out
if it's worthwhile for the business,
with all the plumbing and the rest of
it," Mr Keynes said.
"It could be used for a good
hectare of vines, or even more -- for
1.5ha or up to 2ha if it's used
"Every little bit helps."
The rainwater capture could prove
imperative in coming years, if
Bureau of Meteorology predictions
of a new dry spell come true.
August rainfall was below average
in parts of Queensland, northern
New South Wales and all of South
Australia -- except the South East.
BOM climate prediction ser vices
manager Andrew Watkins says the
Pacific Ocean is warming and
climate indicators are expected to
exceed the El Nino threshold levels
before the end of September -- a
weather cycle that typically brings
drier than normal weather in winter
and spring to eastern Australia.
"There are also some signs in the
Indian Ocean that point towards
drier winters and springs in south
east Australia," Mr Watkins said.
"We can't say for sure anything
about the potential for drought, or
severe drought, but the odds are on
the drier side."
Rainwater uptake little help for growers
APPLE and Pear Growers
Association of SA chief executive
officer Susie Green (pictured)
says an increase of unlicensed
rainwater take from 500 kilolitres
to 1500kL will have little positive
impact for growers.
"In the overall scheme of
things, it's not a huge amount of
water to use for irrigation
purposes," she said.
"Certainly, it's useful for other
purposes. Any access to water is
"But a lot of growers here are
more concerned about the impact
of the rollout of water licences
and how that's going to impact
"There's a lot of uncertainty."
A draft Water Allocation Plan for
the Western Mount Lofty Ranges
was released for public
consultation 24 months ago.
It proposed licensing for 1700
dams used for commercial and
irrigation purposes from 13,000
dams in the region.
Water Minister Paul Caica said
the plan was still under
A spokesperson for the
Department of Environment,
Water and Natural Resources said
there were 20 WAPS that had
been adopted across SA.
The Water Allocation Plan sets the rules for water trade
and transfer, obtaining new allocations, and water-
affecting structures such as dams and banks
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