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What is the aim of the SA Environmental Protection Water Quality policy?

Environmental concerns necessitate the need for policies which serves to sustain human health, protect plant and animal life as well as prevent damage to the environment. In addition to other natural resources, the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act) is responsible for the protection of water resources in South Australia through various policies and legislations. It entails management of water activities to protect the water resource and the ecosystems which depend on it. In situations where the water resource is threatened or at risk, water allocation plans are developed to enforce regulations on usage, limitations imposed, and guidelines which regulate the relevant stakeholders.

The South Australian Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015 provide guidelines used for the regulation of water quality for groundwater, marine waters and inland surface waters. The regulation is derived from the Environment Protection Act 1993. The water quality policy serves to promote sustainable development in water usage by preventing environmental harm. It defines the environmental requirements and the factors which destroy ecosystems, for instance, loss of native vegetation, increased non-native species, water toxicity on land vegetation, increased turbidity, and water becoming dangerous to people and animals.   

The policy further aims at enforcing effective environmental management. It presents environmental duty provisions which should be observed to uphold water quality. In line with environmental duty, the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015 defines what constitute offences by classifying pollutants and setting the discharge limits for various water activities. The policy governs water discharge, recycling or re-use from industries, septic systems, miscellaneous works, wastewater lagoons, sewerage systems, vessels, and waste depots.    

Consequently, the policy aims at upholding water values which include recreation and aesthetics, drinking water for humans, livestock drinking water, aquaculture, general water use, and irrigation. Generally, the policy aims at setting quality standards and ensuring they are met by providing guidelines which govern its usage.

For more information on SA Environmental Protection Water Quality policy, you can use the fantastic resource available on the environmental standards page of the website to search and use environmental standards and guidelines. Environmental Standards are available for air, water and soil for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Holland and from the World Health Organization.



EPA South Australia (2020). Legislation. Retrieved from

Government of South Australia (2020). Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015. Retrieved from