Water Resource Management During Extreme Dry Conditions

​​​​​​​​The Water Resource Management During Extreme Dry Conditions Policy is a Ministerial policy under section 8 of the Water Management Act. It sets out water resource management procedures to be implemented in Tasmania during extreme dry conditions. This will ensure an appropriate balance between consumptive water needs and environmental water needs under these circumstances.

The Policy simply directs how the provisions of the Water Management Act, and water management plans more broadly, are to be implemented in regard to specific water availability circumstances under extreme dry conditions.

This means that through an adaptive management approach, farmers may be able to take water for irrigation at times when they would otherwise be prevented from doing so, were the long term based provisions of the water resource management system strictly adhered to.

  Water Resource Management During Extreme Dry Conditions Policy   (286Kb)​​

Assessment zones​

To support the Department’s assessment of conditions, the State has been divided into eight​ geographic zones, with river catchments grouped based on similar climatic and hydrological conditions: 


​Geographical extent of Extreme Dry Conditions assessment zones. Shading represents long-term average annual rainfall from wet (blue) to dry (red).

What this means for water​ users

In catchments where the Minister has declared that extreme dry conditions exist Authorised Officers are able to apply a degree of discretion as set out in the policy in relation to:​

  • implementation of restrictions and water access rules
  • conveyance losses and the trading of water
  • compliance and enforcement activities.

Review of the imp​​lementat​ion of the Policy during 2015-16

There is a requirement that the Water Resource Management During Extreme Dry Conditions Policy be reviewed within six months after each implementation period. 

The Policy was last implemented in 2015-16 and the review document is available below:

  Review of the implementation of Ministerial Policy 2015/1 Water Resource Management during extreme dry conditions during 2015-16   (354Kb)