Water Management Plans

In this topic

The Water Management Act 1999 provides for the development of Water Management Plans. Water Management Plans are developed in consultation with stakeholders to ensure the sustainable development and management of a water resource.

A Water Management Plan is generally implemented by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. However, the Minister may approve an application by a Water Entity to take over the implementation of the Plan.

Water Management Planning in Tasmania - What is happening?

Activities underway between 2023 and 2024 related to water management planning include: ​

  1. ​Statutory plan reviews and amendment processes for:
​​​​​   2. NRE Tas reviews of water management plans for: 

    • ​​​​Boobyalla River Catchment 
    • ​Leengtenner / Tomahawk River Catchment 
    • Ansons River Catchment

Statutory plan review and amendment processes

NRE Tas is reviewing and updating water management arrangements under the Mersey River Water Management Plan and the Lake Sorell and Crescent Water Management Plan. Consultation on amendments to these plans has been underway with key stakeholders since 2020. Under the Water Management Act 1999, draft amended Plans are required to be released for public consultation for a minimum of 60 days. 

Statutory public consultation on the Draft Amended Mersey River Catchment (below Parangana Dam) Water Management Plan is now closed. Public representations were received between 19 July and 18 September 2023.
A public report is being prepared by the Secretary of NRE Tasmania providing written responses to representations with recommendations for any changes in response to representations of merit.  After preparation of the report by the Secretary:

  • The Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) is then directed by the Minister to review the representations and the Secretary’s Report. The Secretary’s Report is made publicly available on the TPC web site.
  • The Commission then publish their report (on the TPC Web site).
  • The Minister then makes the final decision to adopt the Draft Amended Plan considering the TPC report, NRE Tas Report and public representations.

NRE Tas reviews of water management plans

Several water management plans (WMPs) have been in place for more than 10 years and are now due for review by the Secretary of NRE Tas in accordance with the Water Management Act 1999. The review by the Secretary is the first step in a plan review process to inform a determination by the Minister regarding the decision to commence a process to draft amendments to a plan. More information on this process can be found at: Guiding principles for the development of statutory water management plans, 2017​.

The Secretary’s reviews will be undertaken in stages: 

Stage 1 (second half of 2023) - Review of three Plans including Ansons, Boobyalla and Tomahawk River Water Management Plans. 

Stage 2 - Review of Sassafras Wesley Vale Water Management Plan

Stage 3 - Review of Little Swanport Water Management Plan

Timeframes for Stages 2 and 3 and subsequent Secretary’s Reviews will be confirmed after completion of Stage 1. 

For Stage 1 Plan review areas, NRE Tas will be seeking key stakeholder groups’ and licensees’ views on the management of water under the plans via targeted online surveys to inform the Secretary's review report.

The Secretary’s review report will be made publicly available once completed. The report will recommend to the Minister if amendments to the Plan are necessary and when it is desirable to commence a statutory plan review and amendment process.


Water Management Planning

Lands Building,
HOBART, TAS, 7000.