Water Licences and Permits
Health and sustainability through water licences and permits
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the state’s eight Natural Resources Management Boards work together to support the sustainable management of water resources in South Australia.
They do this through issuing licences and water allocations, measuring water use through metering requirements, managing water in high demand areas and securing flows for the environment.
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Prescribed water resources are managed by the South Australian Government to ensure water use in these areas remains sustainable. Prescribed water resources are managed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act) and include the issuing of water licences and allocations to use water.
Activities that require a licence vary depending on the water resources prescribed within a region, but may include:
- Underground, watercourse or surface water extracted for:
- stock and domestic use
- managed aquifer recharge.
Water Allocation Plans (WAPs) for prescribed areas are developed by Natural Resources Management (NRM) Boards, in consultation with the community and industry. These WAPs guide the sustainable management of prescribed water resources within those areas and include policies around how water is allocated and licensed.
Application forms for water licences are available on the Government of South Australia website.
Areas where existing user licences are currently being issued
Permits are required for a number of activities that impact on South Australia’s water resources and the ecosystems that depend on them. Permits enable these activities to be monitored and regulated to ensure our water resources remain sustainable into the future.
The Water Planning and Management Division of DEWNR administers permits for the following activities:
- drilling, plugging, backfilling or sealing of a well
- repairing, replacing or altering the casing, lining or screening of a well
- draining or discharging water directly or indirectly into a well
- using imported water in the course of carrying on a business
- using effluent in the course of carrying on a business.
Application forms for the water permits described above are available on the Government of South Australia website.
Similarly, water affecting activities in relation to dams and draining or discharging into any watercourse, floodplain or lake require permits that are administered by NRM Boards.
Contact your local NRM Board to discuss your application requirements if you need a permit for any of the following:
- erect, construct or enlarge a dam
- draining or discharging into a watercourse or lake
- conduct a water affecting activity in a watercourse, floodplain or lake.