Groundwater in the greater Adelaide area is used for industrial, agricultural and commercial uses, including the irrigation of recreational open spaces.
Groundwater is also used by households for domestic use (including watering up to 0.4 hectares of land connected to a dwelling) and for the watering of stock (other than stock for commercial farming).
In 2007 the groundwater in the Adelaide metropolitan area was prescribed to protect the water from overuse and to secure it for the future. This area is now known as the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area – if you would like to know exactly where this area is take a look at the map on the Prescription of the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area fact sheet.
Now that the groundwater resource is prescribed a water licence is required to use water for any purpose other than for household domestic use or the watering of stock.
To qualify for a water licence through the prescription process you need to have used water between 1 July 2002 and 30 November 2005. Many individuals who used water during this time applied for a water licence in 2007. DEWNR is currently assessing these licence applications.
Proposed changes to the water licence application process in the Central Adelaide area
While all users of the groundwater resource within the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area were encouraged to apply for a licence in 2007, it appears that not everyone who qualified for a licence applied for one.
The State Government is now considering re-opening the application period to ensure that all users that qualify for a licence through the prescription process apply for a water licence. A water user qualifies for a licence by having used groundwater (or demonstrating a significant legal or financial commitment to using groundwater) in the period 1 July 2002 to 30 November 2005.
For further information about the Prescribed Wells Areas, including a map, read the Prescription of the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area fact sheet.
For more information about the proposed changes read the Proposal to Make a Regulation to Re-open the Water Licence Application Period for Central Adelaide fact sheet.
If you still have any questions about groundwater in the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area, please phone (08) 8463 6844 or email us at DEWNR.CAlicensing@sa.gov.au.