Issuing water licences and allocations to existing users

In line with the draft Western Mount Lofty Ranges Water Allocation Plan, water licences are being issued across the region, replacing current authorisations to use water.

The roll-out of licences is nearing completion and licencees are in the process of installing meters where required. 

Who are existing users?

Existing users are people who either took water from the Western Mount Lofty Ranges water resources during the establishment period (1 July 2001 to 14 October 2004) or committed significant financial, legal or other resources to a water use development before 14 October 2004 that would require access to water.

All existing water users who could demonstrate water use, or a significant commitment to use water, during the establishment period of the Western Mount Lofty Ranges Prescribed Water Resources Area were given six months between 20 October 2005 until 20 April 2006 to apply for a water licence.

How will the new licensing system be different?

A change that water users will notice is that water allocations will be converted to a volume of water instead of an area and type of crop that water can be used for, providing greater flexibility in how the water can be used. Water allocations will also be divided between water resources (underground water, surface water and watercourse water).

Water licences will give landholders greater certainty and security about their water entitlements, and make it possible to transfer water allocations and water rights. They are also tradable assets.

Some licensed water sources will need to be fitted with a water meter to accurately measure water use and ensure the volume used remains within water allocations. Measuring water use across the Western Mount Lofty Ranges will help secure sustainable water resources into the future for the local community, industry and environment. The Meter Implementation Plan for the Western Mount Lofty Ranges provides flexibility provisions. More information can be found on the metering water use page.