Water licence applications

To apply for a water licence, you must be the owner of the land or a prescribed entity as defined under the Water Act 2000 (e.g. a local government or a water authority).

Generally, a water licence is attached to land. The water you take or interfere with can only be used on the land to which the licence is attached. A water licence that is not attached to land may be granted to an entity such as a local government or a water authority.

Water licence dealings include renewals, reinstatements, transfers, subdivisions and some amendments and amalgamations, as well as surrenders, cancellations or repeals.

Forms and fees

You must apply for a new water licence or a water licence dealing using approved water licence forms and pay the prescribed fee.

Public notices of licence applications

When the department receives an application for a new water licence or certain water licence dealings, we will publish a public notice, where required. This notice allows submissions on the application to be made within 30 business days.

In certain circumstances, you may be requested to publish a copy of this notice. You will be supplied with the notice, including information about publishing. If you are required to publish a notice, your application will lapse if the notice is not published within the specified time.

Your application will lapse if the notice is not published within the required time. The notice allows for submissions to be made within 30 business days.

Assessment of your application

Your application for a water licence will be assessed against criteria in the Act, including:

  • existing water entitlements and authorities
  • relevant water plans
  • public interest.

Any submissions made in response to a public notice will be taken into consideration when your application is being assessed.

Contents of water licence

Your water licence will state:

  • an expiry date of 30 June 2111 (unless a different expiry date is stated in a water plan or water management protocol)
  • the water to which the licence relates
  • the location from, or at, which the water may be taken or interfered with
  • conditions that you must meet.

You must meet the conditions stated on your water licence. For example, you may be required to carry out and report on a stated monitoring program.

Right of review and appeal

Under the Act, the applicant for a water licence and persons who make a proper submission about an application have the right to seek an internal review of a decision and, if necessary, to appeal the review decision.

This does not apply for water licence dealings that do not require a public notice.

Applicants and submitters are advised when a decision has been made on a water licence application. You will be advised about how to seek an internal review and the appeal process.

Public requests for information

You can request information relating to water licences, interim water allocations and associated information or approvals that are attached to a property.

You can do this in person at your local business centre or you can complete the Request for water entitlement data attached to land (PDF, 648KB) and pay the prescribed fee.