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Water licensing and approvals

Water licensing and works approvals exemptions

You don’t need to apply for a water access licence or a water supply work approval if an exemption applies.

Water licensing exemptions

three main categories of works approval exemptions for water supply works

The Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 specifies a number of water access licence exemptions. A summary of these exemptions is provided below. You should refer to the regulation for a full description of these exemptions, including the circumstances when the exemption applies, and any restrictions or limitations.

There are three main categories of works approval exemptions for water supply works:

  • construction and use of a water supply work
  • construction only
  • use only.

Exemptions for landholders

  • Collection of water from roofs in rainwater tanks by landholder
  • Dams for specific purposes
  • Dams or excavations located on a river or lake
  • Works in lakes which are mainly dry
  • Works which impound water
  • Domestic electricity generation by landholder

Exemptions for public authorities

  • Road construction and maintenance by road authorities
  • Construction and maintenance of rail infrastructure by transport authorities
  • Dust suppression by public authorities
  • Operation of hydro-electric power station
  • Basic human water needs
  • Environmental work construction

General exemptions that can apply to any person

  • Drought relief water carting for domestic consumption and stock watering
  • Hydrostatic testing of gas pipelines
  • Prospecting or fossicking for minerals or petroleum
  • Water bore testing
  • Exempt monitoring bores
  • Emergency safety measures
  • Establishment of sugar cane plantings.

Work approval exemptions

Water licence and works exemptions

The Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 also specifies a number of water supply work approval exemptions. A summary of these exemptions is provided below. You should refer to the regulation for a full description of these exemptions, including the circumstances when the exemption applies, and any restrictions or limitations.

There are three main categories of works approval exemptions for water supply works:

  • construction and use of a water supply work
  • construction only
  • use only.

Exemptions for construction and use of a water supply work

  • Landholders with rainwater tanks
  • Landholders with dams for specific purposes
  • Landholders with dams or excavations located on a river or lake
  • Landholders with works that impound water
  • Landholders with works in lakes that are mainly dry
  • Exempt monitoring bores
  • Urgent basic human water needs
  • Emergency safety measures
  • Control or prevention of soil erosion.

Exemptions for water supply works – construction only

  • Prospecting or fossicking for minerals or petroleum
  • Water pipe to convey water from one place to another
  • Water reticulation work constructed on land that has a water use approval.

Exemptions for water supply works – use only

  • Prospecting or fossicking for minerals or petroleum
  • Works to convey or impound water that were in use before 1 July 2004
  • Water reticulation work to convey water to land that has a water use approval
  • Works used in connection with a hydro-electric power station
  • Water tankers used to convey water for dust suppression by a public authority.