Do I need a licence or permit?
Are you planning to:
interfere with bed and banks of a watercourse? (pdf) For example, you are installing a pump or other structure to divert the flow (including a dam).
Frequently asked questions
Is my property located in a proclaimed water resource area?
Most of the state's groundwater resources and surface water resources that are subject to high levels of demand are proclaimed under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.
To find out if your property is located within a proclaimed water resource area, refer to the proclaimed areas map or contact the Department of Water on 1800 508 885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently purchased a property. How do I know if there is a licence to take water associated with the property?
The department's online Water Register can be used to search, view and print licensing and water availability information for a property. The register also provides details of the water resources in your area and other licences and licensees.
If you require further assistance you should contact your local Department of Water office to determine:
- if you need a licence to take water
- if the property has a current licence associated with it, and
- whether you are eligible to apply to transfer the licence into your name or
- if you need to apply for a new licence.
Note: If your water resource area has reached its allocation limit then your application for a new licence to take water may be refused. In this case you may need to find an alternative water source. For example, you may seek to trade or lease water from another licence holder in your water resource area.
For further information please refer to FAQ Transfers, trades and agreements.
I am purchasing a new property. Do I automatically receive a licence to take water?
No. A licence to take water is not automatically transferred with the sale of the property.
If you wish to use water, the following options are available:
- Negotiate with the existing property owner regarding the transfer of their licence or a trade of part of the entitlement, and make an application to the department, prior to, or within 30 days of settlement. See frequently asked questions about transfers and trades.
- If the land seller does not wish to transfer their licence, you must apply for a new licence to take water. Refer to FAQ How to apply for a licence or permit.
- If the property is located within a water resource area where the allocation limit has been reached, you will need to apply to trade or lease water from another licensee within the same water resource area. To determine whether the allocation limit has been reached in your water resource area, check the Water Register or contact the Department of Water on 1800 508 885 or email email@example.com.
Is a licence to take water required for dams that collect run-off from one property?
You do not need a licence to take water or a permit, for the collection of 'run-off' water in a dam on your own property as long as the off-stream dam does not intercept the water table.
It is your responsibility to comply with any other Commonwealth, state or local laws that relate to construction or taking of water in these instances.
Please contact Department of Water on 1800 508 885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org confirm your licensing requirements.