Under the State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 protected environmental values must be set for all Tasmanian surface waters (including estuarine and coastal waters).
Protected environmental values (PEVs) are the current uses and values of the waterways. The Policy provides five categories of PEVs - Protection of Aquatic Ecosystems; Recreational Water Quality and Aesthetics; Raw Water for Drinking Water Supply; Agricultural Water Uses; and Industrial Water Supply.
PEVs provide a strategic framework for water quality management and focus the attention of government, industry and the community on the long-term sustainable use of surface waters. PEVs must be shown in statutory planning instruments such as national park plans and marine farm plans.
To date, PEVs have been set according to either catchment boundaries or municipal boundaries.
PEV Setting in Tasmania
Protected Environmental Values are also set for parks and reserves administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1970 when management plans are developed.
Who Sets Protected Environmental Values?
The Policy requires the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Board and regional planning authorities (councils and/or the Director of Parks & Wildlife Service) to set the PEVs for inland and coastal waterways.
Setting of PEVs must be an open and consultative process involving all interested industry & community groups. Where a fully representative catchment management group already exists, it would be used to seek community and industry involvement in the PEV setting process.
What is the process?
The following process is being used to set PEVs in association with regional planning authorities.
- A workshop is held with the decision-making authorities. Those attending this workshop include council administrators, DPIWE regional water management officers, regional park planners, and marine farm planners where applicable.
- A public discussion paper is prepared by DPIWE. It outlines the water reform process, summarises the state of regional water resources and provides a brief summary of the local water management issues, explains the importance of water quality and water quantity values and proposes a range of PEVs. Endorsement is sought from the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Board, councils and/or the Director of Parks for the discussion paper to be released for public consultation.
- Community and industry representatives are invited to a workshop to discuss the proposed PEVs and to establish a list of regional community water values. Feedback is provided to all those people invited to the workshop and two weeks is given for them to provide any further information.
- Public meetings are then held to allow the whole community to input to the process of setting PEVs. Between two weeks and a month is allocated after the public meeting for provision of further submissions.
- The Board, Councils and/or Director of Parks then endorse the PEVs.
- The final PEVs will be shown in park plans, marine farm plans and used to assist with water management and natural resources management planning.
When will this happen?
The PEV setting process takes, at a minimum, about three months. The actual timing depends on the level of consultation sought and the resources that can be put into the process from both DPIWE and the regional management authorities.
All the community are encouraged to become involved in the determination of community water values and the setting of Protected Environmental Values for Tasmanian surface waters.