Better water management

We are committed to supporting our primary producers

What we’ll do

A Marshall Liberal Government will continue to administer the voluntary introduction of low flow bypasses by processing applications from interested farmers.

We will also discuss with the Federal Government the options of:

  • Re-purposing some of the allocated funding to establish a voluntary dam buy back scheme, recognising that there are many unused dams throughout the Adelaide Hills (particularly on hobby farms) which could be removed with their water returned to environmental flows for a relatively small payment; and
  • If approved by the Federal Government, use some of the repurposed funds to subsidise the drilling of bores, a much more efficient way of gaining water than dam storage.

Why we’re doing it

It’s important to carefully manage how water is stored on farms.

Farm dams enhance security of supply to support farm production. But they can also change river and creek flow patterns downstream with environmental consequences.

To strike a balance, a low flow bypass scheme has been introduced through the Eastern and Western Mount Lofty Ranges.

Low flow bypasses are an engineering solution intended to guarantee a minimum ‘natural’ flow to rivers and creeks by engineering a bypass of dams in a way which guarantees that a certain amount, (usually around 15%) of water enters a river or creek before filling a dam.

The Federal Government has supported a series of low fly bypasses, with participation in the scheme voluntary. The costs could be much higher than original estimates though with much many farmers becoming concerned about the potential for the scheme to lead to more unproductive regulation of their activities.

We need to provide certainty for farmers.

That’s why we will continue to administer the voluntary introduction of low flow bypasses while also working on other ways to efficiently manage how water is stored on farms.