Water licensing glossary
Annual volume of water set aside for licensed use from a water resource
A geological formation or group of formations able to receive, store and transmit significant quantities of water.
Vested in Her Majesty which is not for the time being dedicated to any public purpose, or subject to any grant, lease, licence, contract, or engagement made by or on behalf of Her Majesty.
The quantity of groundwater permitted to be abstracted by a well licence, usually specified in kilolitres/year (kL/year).
The water that occurs in pore spaces and fractures in rocks beneath the ground surface. Groundwater is contained in the following types of aquifer:
The unconfined aquifer (also referred to as a 'superficial' or 'surficial' aquifer) is the aquifer nearest the surface, having no overlying confining layer. The upper surface of the groundwater within the aquifer is called the watertable.
A confined aquifer is an aquifer lying between confining layers (such as clay, coal or rock) containing water under pressure.
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer under hydraulic pressure that causes water levels to rise naturally to the ground surface.
Groundwater and surface water
All the boundaries that are proclaimed under the Rights in Water and Irrigation act (1914) and used for water allocation planning and management.
Groundwater resource area
All the boundaries that are proclaimed under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act and used for water allocation planning and management.
Groundwater resource area: Letter of
A letter issued to the applicant stating that a licence will be granted when all the criteria outlined in the letter are met by the applicant (this usually includes proof of legal access).
A surface measure of area equal to 10 000 square metres or approximately 2.47 acres.
Letter of undertaking
See groundwater resource area; letter of undertaking
A well, including all associated works, from which water does not flow or has not flowed naturally to the surface but has to be raised or has been raised by pumping or other artificial means.
Proclamation is a legal process that makes managing water resources the Department of Water's responsibility. In proclaimed areas, under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914, it is illegal to take water from a watercourse or groundwater aquifer without a licence or a conferred right (e.g. exemption, riparian right).
A legal process that allows the Department of Water to regulate the taking of water in certain areas under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.
Water rising naturally to and flowing over the surface of the land. This does not include the discharge of underground water directly into a watercourse, wetland, reservoir or other water body.
Noticeable impact on downstream users or to the environment.
A sub-division within a proclaimed groundwater resource area, defined for the purpose of managing the allocation of groundwater resources.
Water flowing or held in waterways or wetlands on the surface of the landscape
Surface water resource
Areas defined by the Department of Water, used for water allocation planning and management, which are generally hydrologic basins or parts of basins.
Unused water entitlement
part or all of the licensed annual water entitlement that has not been taken (used) for more than three consecutive years, unless otherwise specified in licence conditions or operating strategies or agreed development timeframes.
A river, stream or creek in which water flows in a natural channel, whether permanently or intermittently
The saturated level of the unconfined groundwater. Wetlands in low-lying areas are often seasonal or permanent surface expressions of the watertable.
A natural collection of water, whether permanent or temporary, on the surface of any land and includes: any lake, lagoon, swamp or marsh; and a natural collection of water that has been artificially altered, but does not include a watercourse.