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Contents (2000 - 92)
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Water Management Act 2000 No 92
Current version for 1 July 2019 to date (accessed 22 September 2019 at 19:30)
5   Water management principles
(1)  The principles set out in this section are the water management principles of this Act.
(2)  Generally:
(a)  water sources, floodplains and dependent ecosystems (including groundwater and wetlands) should be protected and restored and, where possible, land should not be degraded, and
(b)  habitats, animals and plants that benefit from water or are potentially affected by managed activities should be protected and (in the case of habitats) restored, and
(c)  the water quality of all water sources should be protected and, wherever possible, enhanced, and
(d)  the cumulative impacts of water management licences and approvals and other activities on water sources and their dependent ecosystems, should be considered and minimised, and
(e)  geographical and other features of Aboriginal significance should be protected, and
(f)  geographical and other features of major cultural, heritage or spiritual significance should be protected, and
(g)  the social and economic benefits to the community should be maximised, and
(h)  the principles of adaptive management should be applied, which should be responsive to monitoring and improvements in understanding of ecological water requirements.
(3)  In relation to water sharing:
(a)  sharing of water from a water source must protect the water source and its dependent ecosystems, and
(b)  sharing of water from a water source must protect basic landholder rights, and
(c)  sharing or extraction of water under any other right must not prejudice the principles set out in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(4)  In relation to water use:
(a)  water use should avoid or minimise land degradation, including soil erosion, compaction, geomorphic instability, contamination, acidity, waterlogging, decline of native vegetation or, where appropriate, salinity and, where possible, land should be rehabilitated, and
(b)  water use should be consistent with the maintenance of productivity of land in the long term and should maximise the social and economic benefits to the community, and
(c)  the impacts of water use on other water users should be avoided or minimised.
(5)  In relation to drainage management:
(a)  drainage activities should avoid or minimise land degradation, including soil erosion, compaction, geomorphic instability, contamination, acidity, waterlogging, decline of native vegetation or, where appropriate, salinity and, where possible, land should be rehabilitated, and
(b)  the impacts of drainage activities on other water users should be avoided or minimised.
(6)  In relation to floodplain management:
(a)  floodplain management must avoid or minimise land degradation, including soil erosion, compaction, geomorphic instability, contamination, acidity, waterlogging, decline of native vegetation or, where appropriate, salinity and, where possible, land must be rehabilitated, and
(b)  the impacts of flood works on other water users should be avoided or minimised, and
(c)  the existing and future risk to human life and property arising from occupation of floodplains must be minimised.
(7)  In relation to controlled activities:
(a)  the carrying out of controlled activities must avoid or minimise land degradation, including soil erosion, compaction, geomorphic instability, contamination, acidity, waterlogging, decline of native vegetation or, where appropriate, salinity and, where possible, land must be rehabilitated, and
(b)  the impacts of the carrying out of controlled activities on other water users must be avoided or minimised.
(8)  In relation to aquifer interference activities:
(a)  the carrying out of aquifer interference activities must avoid or minimise land degradation, including soil erosion, compaction, geomorphic instability, contamination, acidity, waterlogging, decline of native vegetation or, where appropriate, salinity and, where possible, land must be rehabilitated, and
(b)  the impacts of the carrying out of aquifer interference activities on other water users must be avoided or minimised.