History of the Angas Bremer Experience
At Langhorne Creek, the use of electric pumps to extract groundwater for irrigation began in 1950 when electricity first became available in the paddocks of the Angas Bremer district. By 1970 well water levels were falling and salinity of irrigation water was rising. This was because the volume of groundwater being extracted had increased to approximately four times the volume of water recharged to the aquifer each year.
In 1979 the Angas Bremer Water Resources Advisory Committee (ABWRAC) was formed to provide advice to the responsible SA Government Minister on how best to manage the Angas Bremer water resources.
In 1980 the Angas Bremer groundwater resource was proclaimed so that further expansion in its use was stopped and management of the resource became controlled by legislation. By 1987 the first Angas Bremer Water Management Plan (ABWMP) was adopted and water meters were installed on all bores.
The innovative policies in the ABWMP, and the huge increases in the farmgate prices of winegrapes, motivated many growers to exchange groundwater licences for river Murray licences. Many privately owned pipelines were installed beside the roads from lake Alexandrina . In 1995, 42 growers joined forces to form the Langhorne Creek Water Company and to design, finance and build their state-of-the-art community pipeline scheme.
In 1997 the ABWRAC introduced Irrigation Annual Reporting as a framework for self-education by irrigators. Irrigation Annual Reporting has involved every irrigator in improving the management of the local water resource.
In 1997 the ABWRAC was disbanded after the River Murray Catchment Water Management Board was formed under the new Water Resources Act 1997. At the insistence of the Angas Bremer community, the committee was reformed as the Angas Bremer Water Management Committee (ABWMC).
In 2000 the ABWMC introduced the Angas Bremer Irrigators Code of Practice. In 2001 the fourth, Angas Bremer, 5-year groundwater management plan (the Water Allocation Plan for the Angas Bremer Prescribed Wells Area) was adopted by the Minister.
For more than 20 years the ABWMC has been committed to increasing the knowledge of all growers and to improving the long-term management of water in their district. It has provided courageous local leadership and involved all the local growers in building practical, common-sense strategies for the benefit of those growers.
The ABWMC has sought, received and valued strong technical support from SA government agencies. It has achieved the real involvement and strong support of the community by acting with integrity, communicating with the community and by strenuously defending the confidentiality of every item of data provided by individual growers.
Waterhouse Report and Associated Figures
Click on the links below to download the pdf document of the Waterhouse report. Right click the link and choose "Save As" to save a copy of the file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.