Soil and Land Conservation Regulations were introduced in 1992 to control the drainage of saline land in WA. The regulations require landholders (owner or occupier) intending to drain or pump water from under the land surface and then discharge that water onto other land, into other water or into a watercourse, to notify the Commissioner of Soil and Land Conservation at least 90 days before discharging water. Notice is submitted using the notice of intent to drain or pump water (NOID) form.
Notification allows for the proposed works to be assessed by the Commissioner (or the Commissioner's agent) and gives neighbouring landholders and public authorities the opportunity to comment on the drainage proposal. Notification relates to draining or pumping within the same property and across multiple properties. It is also required regardless of the salinity (or freshness) of the discharge water; if the intent of the drainage works is to control salinity by discharging water, notification is required.
Drainage that must be notified:
- all subsurface drainage for salinity control
- all surface and subsurface drainage in the Peel-Harvey Catchment.
Drainage that does not need to be notified:
These principles from the Policy framework for inland drainage are used during the NOID process:
- Drainage should be considered within an integrated catchment management framework, as part of the total water cycle, and the quality and quantity of drainage water is managed.
- Environmental impacts, positive and negative, should be identified and described at a level appropriate to the scale of the drainage proposal. Proposals should demonstrate an overall environmental benefit.
- Public good from the proposal should be identified and be relative to the scale and risk of the proposal.
- Best practice appropriate to the scale and risks of the proposal should be used for planning, design, consultation, construction and management.
- Consultation and participation is expected for stakeholders affected by drainage proposals.
- Costs for design, construction, operation and maintenance shall be identified, allocated and agreed for the life of the drainage.
- Where necessary (depends on scale of the proposal), there should be documentation of governance, financial arrangements, and intentions for detailed design, access, construction, operation, maintenance, monitoring and evaluation, and allocation of liabilities.