Making submissions and complaints about the taking of water
Frequently asked questions
These responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) are designed to help water users and property owners understand their rights and responsibilities in accessing the state's water resources and managing their water use.
Should you require further information please contact your local Department of Water office.
Why are water licence applications advertised and how do I make a submission?
The department may require a licence applicant to notify the public of their proposed water activity by advertising their project in the 'West Australian' and a local newspaper (refer FAQ 2: How to apply for a licence or permit).
The requirement to advertise is based on the proposed amount of water to be taken or the potential for significant impact to occur to a water resource. This public notification provides an opportunity for any person to make a submission to the department outlining their opinions, objections and concerns regarding the project.
The timeframe for making comments is stated in the advertisement.
When making a submission you should:
- state the nature of the objection or concern
- indicate how the application will directly (or indirectly) affect you
- suggest how your objection may be overcome
- indicate the level of monitoring and management that would provide you with an appropriate level of reassurance that your concerns will be addressed.
Following an assessment of all the submissions and relevant information, the department will then decide whether to grant or refuse the water licence application.
A specific condition, or suite of conditions may be included on a licence to manage any potential impacts that have been identified through submissions. The department will notify any person that made a submission of the department's decision.
In the case of large and complex applications, the department may compile a report on the range of issues raised and how these should be addressed. This report may be made available to the public and the applicant.
How do I make a complaint about the taking of water, or a bed and banks disturbance?
If you see any activity you believe to be unlawful taking of water, interference of bed or banks, or the construction of bores or dams, please report this to your local Department of Water office.
Such complaints are managed within a register and where appropriate, investigation and action will occur. Complaints are managed in accordance with the department's policy Operational policy 5.10: Managing breaches of the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 on watercourses in Western Australia.