Water authorisations for industry and government

In addition to the requirements that apply to landholders in general, special requirements may apply for certain activities by industry and government.

Constructing authorities

Constructing authorities (as defined in Schedule 2 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967) can take water without a permit or licence to construct or maintain infrastructure. The requirements for this exemption are outlined in the Exemption requirements for constructing authorities for the take of water without a water entitlement (PDF, 268KB).

Holders of environmental authorities and development permits

In some circumstances, holders of environmental authorities or development permits for certain environmentally relevant activities can take overland flow water that is not more than the volume necessary to satisfy the requirements of the authority or permit.

In addition, a person can interfere with the flow of water within a watercourse by impoundment as necessary to satisfy the requirements of an environmental authority.

Contact your local business centre to check requirements.

Mining, petroleum and gas activities

Associated versus non-associated water

Associated water is underground water that you take or interfere with while (or as a result of) carrying out an authorised activity on your resource authority. Non-associated water is any other water.

You don't need a water licence or permit to take or interfere with associated water. However, you do have reporting and notification obligations under mining and water legislation.

You'll need to apply for a permit or licence before you take or interfere with non-associated water. You also have reporting requirements for non-associated water.

Note: Some mining projects that have advanced through environmental assessment processes and not yet obtained a water licence before December 2016 may be subject to transitional provisions requiring an 'associated water licence'.

Watercourse diversions

Mining activities sometimes require the diversion of a watercourse. In some circumstances, the diversion may be authorised under an environmental authority process. Otherwise, a separate water licence will be required under the Water Act 2000.

Also consider…


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)