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.
Changes to the water licence application process in the Central Adelaide area
Following the State Government's initial call for groundwater licence applications for the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area (PWA), it was recognised that a number of eligible water users (based on their use or commitment to groundwater use during the period 01 July 2002 to 30 November 2005) did not apply for a water licence within the designated application period.
In late 2016, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) sought community feedback on the proposal to re-open the period to apply for a groundwater licence in the Central Adelaide PWA. The community supported the proposal to provide individuals with a further opportunity to apply for a water licence and all subsequent approvals necessary to make the Regulation have since been obtained.
So a Regulation has been made - What does this mean?
DEWNR is able to accept applications for groundwater licences from 01 December 2017 to 01 June 2018. To be eligible for a groundwater licence, the application must relate to groundwater that was taken or a commitment to the taking of groundwater for a commercial, industrial or irrigation purpose during the period 01 July 2002 to 30 November 2005.
Eligible water users who did not apply for a licence in 2007 are encouraged to submit an application by 5.00pm EST on 01 June 2018.
Application forms can be downloaded using this link.
Entities that believe the application they lodged in 2007 does not accurately capture their groundwater use activities (or commitments) during the period 01 July 2002 to 30 November 2005 are encouraged to contact the Central Adelaide Project Team as soon as possible.
Assessment of applications submitted in 2007 is currently being finalised. Individuals who applied for a licence in 2007 do not need to submit a new application.
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 changes read the 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.