Plans, permits and reports

Regulated water affecting activities

The Landscape South Australia Act 2019 identifies activities that have the potential to have adverse impacts on water resources and the ecosystems that depend on them, as well as other water users. These are called water affecting activities and may require a permit.

The Department for Environment and Water and Green Adelaide are responsible for issuing water affecting activity permits for different activities: 

Department for Environment and Water issued permits:

  • drill, plug, backfill or seal a well (bore)
  • repair, replace or alter the casing, lining or screen of a well
  • drain or discharge water into a well
  • use imported water or effluent.

Green Adelaide issued permits:

  • divert or store water – e.g. erect, construct, modify, enlarge, or remove a dam, wall or other structure
  • build a structure in a watercourse, lake or floodplain
  • drain or discharge water into a watercourse or lake
  • deposit objects or solid material in, or obstruct a watercourse or lake in another manner (including by planting vegetation)
  • excavate or remove rock, sand or soil from a watercourse or lake
  • destroy vegetation growing in a watercourse or lake, or on the floodplain of a watercourse.


Some activities are exempt if undertaken in accordance with a current recommended practice approved by the Green Adelaide Board:

Current recommended practice - Removal of some species of vegetation from a watercourse, lake or floodplain.

Other activities may also be exempt, if undertaken in accordance with Green Adelaide’s Water Affecting Activity Control Policy.

Councils or agencies that have a best practice operating procedure (BPOP) agreed upon with Green Adelaide may not require a permit if activities are undertaken in accordance with the BPOP. Councils or agencies that do not have a BPOP can contact Green Adelaide to discuss adopting one.

Applying for a permit

Department for Environment and Water issued permits, read the Water Affecting Activity Control Policy and visit this website for more information and application forms.

For Green Adelaide issued permits, read the Water Affecting Activity Control Policy and complete and lodge the relevant application form:

You must apply for a permit at least two months before you intend to undertake the activity. The statutory turnaround time to issue a permit is 40 business days. Please note that the application fee is $60. You may be required to provide additional supporting information and host a site visit to assist with assessing your application.

You will be notified in writing regarding the outcome of your application, and may be required to undertake additional actions in accordance with the conditions of an approved permit. If your permit application is not approved or you disagree with any of the permit conditions, you may appeal to the Environment, Resources and Development Court within six weeks of the decision. Upon completion of works a further site visit maybe conducted to ensure permit conditions have been met.

For further information and assistance with your application form, please email the Green Adelaide or call 8463 3733.


Business Plan 2020-21

The Green Adelaide Board's inaugural business plan sets out its program for the year and outlines how it will approach its responsibilities for landscape management, including land, soil and water management. During the year the board will also develop and begin delivery of its five-year regional landscape plan. This will involve working with local and state government organisations, industry, environmental organisations and the community.

The work of the Green Adelaide Board is supported by the landscape levy. You can find more information about the levy here.

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