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Water - Creeks & Streams


The surface water resources of the District can be considered in two broad categories:

  • those creeks that drain in a southwest direction and form part of the Onkaparinga Catchment, which includes Echunga Creek, Hahndorf Creek and the Biggs Flat area; and
  • those streams and rivers that drain in an easterly direction towards Lake Alexandrina and form part of the River Murray Catchment; this includes the Bremer River and the Angas River

Changes in water and land use since European settlement have resulted in changes to the surface water resources of the region. These changes include:

  • reduction in summer flows, possibly as a result of increased groundwater use and by capture of runoff in both on stream and off stream dams;
  • increases in the peak flow rate of streams due to land clearance and township and road development, increasing runoff and resulting in degraded creeks
  • introduction and colonising of streams by weeds and other exotic species;
  • grazing of streams by exotic livestock, resulting in degradation ;
  • construction of diversion banks to prevent flooding or to collect water for dams, resulting in changed flow patterns and reduced stream flows; and
  • deterioration of water quality by pollutants, chemicals, turbidity and sedimentation.

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Key Pressures on Water

  • Declining surface and groundwater quality
  • Watercourse health
  • Increased residential and commercial water use
  • Pollution of stormwater in industrial areas within Mt Barker and Littlehampton
  • Pollution of stormwater from residential developments, especially in the Mt Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne areas.

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What is Council doing to protect Water?

Council is committed to ensuring that water resources are protected and use of alternative (sustainable) water resources is maximised, especially in the face of climate change and projected decreases in rainfall and increases in evaporation. Integrated Water Management Plans have been developed for Mount Barker and the surrounding towns of Littlehampton, Nairne, Callington and Hahndorf.

Council is reducing water use in parks and gardens through the use of recycled water, more efficient irrigation practices and the use of low water use species in landscaping. Incentives are available for people to increase the use of rainwater tanks. Council planners and engineers are working with developers to ensure Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is incorporated within new developments wherever possible and Council projects are increasingly incorporating WSUD features.

The popular Laratinga wetland is an award winning, treated wastewater wetland that has become a haven for local biodiversity and a valuable recreation and community asset.

To see how to conserve water at your property or neighbourhood check out the Living Sustainably virtual community.

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Watercourse Management Plan for Mount Barker

Council has endorsed the Watercourse Management Plan for Mount Barker

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