A NSW Government website

Water access licences and approvals

Water Act 1912 Licence approval

A Water Act 1912 licence allows you to sink a monitoring bore or well into an aquifer, and to take water from an aquifer in areas outside a water sharing plan.

Workers inspect the ground water at Balmoral Precinct

About the water Act 1912 licence

There are several works that are not covered by the Water Management Act 2000. These works require licensing under the Water Act 1912.

A Water Act 1912 groundwater licence relates to aquifers and aquifer interference activities (Part 5 licence). This allows:

  • constructing a bore, well or works which may connect with an aquifer outside the water sharing plans
  • monitoring bores
  • artificial recharge into an aquifer.

How to apply

WaterNSW issues licences and approvals for private rural landholders and rural industries.

The department provides licences and approvals for many larger commercial and all government entities.

Application form

Use this document to apply for a new Water Act 1912 licence:

Submit your application

Submit by email

Email your completed application form and any other documents it requires to waterlicensing.servicedesk@dpie.nsw.gov.au.


$151 non-artesian bore or $48 artesian bore.

If applicable, an additional fee of $2,052.55 will be required for a technical referral.*

*Fees and assessment times

*To find more information about related fees and applications visit the Fees and application forms page.

See the Assessment timeframes. page to find out how long your application will take.

Paying for your application

After we have accepted your application form, an officer from the department will call you to finalise your payment. You can pay the application fee by credit card or direct deposit.

See links to all application forms and fee schedules

Not sure about what you need?

We've developed the Water Assist tool to help you work out who to talk to and what steps to take to get the licences and approvals you need.