Water compliance

DEWNR is responsible for compliance and enforcement of water resource legislation. Using a risk-based approach, the department focusses on water use and associated activities. 

The department works with individuals, business, industry, local government and other agencies to ensure that water resource activities comply with the State’s water legislation. 

DEWNR undertakes proactive compliance monitoring to detect non-compliant water use activities. View our current compliance operations

Our general approach to compliance is to firstly discuss the issue with the licensee/people involved and help them to work out how they can make their activities comply. If this does not work, or the risks to the water resource or other water users are immediate, then we may direct compliance or issue sanctions.

Check your water entitlement (licence, works approval) to make sure you understand your obligations. Your obligations include ensuring you do not take water in excess of your allocation endorsed on your water licence/account in any given water use year. 

Please note penalties apply if you take water in excess of your allocation. There are very limited situations where a penalty may be waived, please refer to the Exceptional Circumstances Fact Sheet for further details.  

You can contact the local water licensing office or search the Water Licensing and Permit Register if you want to know more about your obligations.

As part of our commitment to the Commonwealth National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management we also report on South Australia’s water compliance breaches.