South Australia's Strategic Plan is comprised of 100 targets. These targets are specific and measurable and enable us to measure our progress towards achieving the Plan's visions and goals.

Each target is reported on through this section of the website. Data has been updated as at December 2017.


75. Sustainable water use:

South Australia’s water resources are managed within sustainable limits by 2018

Key Measure


Explanatory Comments

This target measures the extent to which South Australia’s water resources are managed within sustainable limits.

There are 67 water management areas in South Australia, as illustrated in this map.  

These are self-contained areas predominantly defined by natural catchments and groundwater resource areas, while also taking into account existing administrative boundaries.  Each has been assessed as to whether it is fully, partially, or not managed within sustainable limits based on an assessment of water use, allocation and other water management issues (primarily the availability of environmental water provisions and water quality issues, including salinity) and the current management arrangements for that resource.

“Management” of a water resource includes prescription, planning and licensing.  Once a water resource is prescribed, licensed users may take water from it, in quantities and in a manner specified by the terms of the licence.  Allocations from prescribed resources are reviewed regularly, taking into account the condition of the water resources and dependent ecosystems and demands on the water.

The proportion of South Australian water resource management areas assessed as being managed within sustainable limits has remained relatively stable from 2003 to 2017.  Over this same time period, the number of areas listed as not managed with sustainable limits has reduced (eight in 2003, one in 2017).  While there has been movement in the categorisation of some water management areas over the period from 2003 to 2017, the status of the majority of areas remains unchanged.

 Note that no data was collected for this target in 2013 and 2015 hence the absence of data on the graph for that year.

Lead Agency

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources