Land and water management plans
The purpose of land and water management plans (LWMPs) is to ensure that irrigation water-use practices are ecologically sustainable, both on and off farm.
The following information will help you prepare an LWMP that identifies the issues and risks associated with use of irrigation water on your property, and develop ways of dealing with them.
An LWMP can remain current for 10 years from the initial approval date, after which it must be resubmitted for approval for a further term.
- Contents of an LWMP
- Why prepare an LWMP?
- Voluntary LWMPs
- Mandatory LWMPs
- LWMPs and water use plans
- Recognising programs for LWMP purposes
Contents of an LWMP
A LWMP consists of:
- a property map (e.g. aerial photography base map)
- overlays showing detailed information relevant to your LWMP
- a written report outlining the way in which you intend to meet each desired outcome.
If you have already documented any of the information requested here in another plan, you can use this in your LWMP.
Why prepare an LWMP?
Preparing an LWMP can be a voluntary undertaking, or it can be a legislative requirement, usually under the Water Act 2000.
You can use an LWMP as part of normal business practice to:
- plan and review an irrigation enterprise
- identify and manage the risks to land and water that are associated with irrigation practices
- record and measure improvements in practice
- demonstrate that you are managing the risks associated with your farming operation
- identify the most effective and sustainable way of using your land and water.
Under the Water Act 2000, irrigators are required to have an LWMP approved by the department before they can use water from an entitlement for irrigation when:
- they obtain a new or additional water allocation or interim water allocation
- they intend to use, on the same land, a seasonal assignment of water as their only source of water in any two out of three consecutive water years
- they intend to use, on the same land, a seasonal assignment of water and water taken under a water allocation, or an interim water allocation, in any two of three consecutive water years, and water use will exceed the nominal allocation volume
- their land is identified in a water use plan as land where an LWMP is required
- they move some or all of their existing water allocation from one ROP zone to another
- a resource operations plan (ROP) specifies that a LWMP is necessary for water licences.
Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (PDF)*, you are also required to have an approved LWMP if you want to construct works that capture tail water or contaminated run-off, which require a development permit, under a water resource plan.
Unless there is already a requirement for an LWMP, you do not need one if:
- a water licence is converted to a water allocation and you have continuously owned the benefit of both
- you purchase a water allocation or interim water allocation with the associated land as an ongoing enterprise.
LWMPs and water use plans
The Water Act 2000 describes a process whereby an area can be declared a water use plan area. While none has as yet been declared, a water use plan may specify those water users required to prepare an LWMP to support the plan outcomes.
Recognising programs for LWMP purposes
Third party programs can be recognised by the department using the LWMP Recognition Framework. Programs provide an alternative pathway for individuals to meet the LWMP requirement.
- Application for approval of land and water management plan (PDF, 378K)*
- Application for deferral of the requirement to prepare a land and water management plan (PDF, 274K)*
Under the Water Act, fees are payable to have LWMPs approved, or the requirement to prepare one deferred.
- Land and water management plans—W56 (PDF, 95K)*
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last updated 17 March 2011