Our most precious resource


One of the most important issues for the long-term success of our industry is the sustainable use of water resources. Access and availability of water at a reasonable cost is crucial to the wine industry in South Australia. Dry periods can result in reductions to water allocations meaning that water use efficiency is key.


Managing water is an ongoing challenge for grape growers and wine producers, and SAWIA helps our members to tackle the toughest of these problems. 

SAWIA's Water Policy
SAWIA's Water to Wine Policy for the South Australian wine industry is based on sustainable use of water resources, and the need to better understand pressures on (and access to) water for wine growing. The policy, which is available from the Resources section of the website, provides high-level, state-based guidance to:

  • Help individual wine businesses to develop water management plans.
  • Assist wine regions to develop water management initiatives that are tailored for each region.
  • Guide industry interactions with Government and other key stakeholders.
  • Clearly articulate the wine industry's commitment to water sustainability with consumers and other stakeholders.

Water Allocation Plans
Wine businesses need to understand and comply with applicable legislation. A water allocation plan (WAP) sets out the rules for managing the use of prescribed water resources to ensure resource sustainability. It is developed by government for each water resource identified as being significant, or ‘prescribed’, under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004

A WAP sets the amount of water that will be available for users, and the types of activities that are permitted with that water. Once a WAP is in place, water users can apply for a licence, transfer water between users and a range of other activities subject to the rules and limits of the WAP. 

WAP's can be accessed here.