The Lower Limestone Coast water management area covers about 13,533 km2 and is located in the south east of South Australia adjoining the Victorian border. Major towns include Mt Gambier, Naracoorte and Millicent with a total population in the WMA of over 63,000. It is fairly flat landscape covered with stranded, beach ridge, ranges (20-50 metres high) that run parallel to the coast. Land use predominantly consists of dry land farming, vineyards and plantation forestry. Total value of agriculture in the Lower Limestone Coast WMA is over $3.3 billion coming from dryland farming - $500 million, wine grapes - $1.5 billion (value added) and forestry - $1.3 billion (http://www.lcrdb.com/region.htm).
While there are a number of small rivers in the WMA (Mosquito Creek, Morambro Creek and Reedy Creek) they are not generally diverted for consumptive use, instead discharge to a series of coastal lakes.
Almost all irrigation is from groundwater with 90 sub-units defined for groundwater management with a total entitlement of 540,716 ML and a total use for 2004-05 of 279,943 ML.
Groundwater in the majority of the region is allocated by licence in designated Prescribed Wells Areas. The management of ground/surface water, together with associated catchment ecosystems is detailed in the 2003–08 South East Catchment Water Management Plan. Overall, water is managed by the South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation with bulk water supplied by SA Water.
Figure 1 Lower Limestone Coast water management area locality map
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Lower Limestone Coast water management area locality map (1.2 Meg)
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