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Water compliance

The Department for Environment and Water are responsible for ensuring that water resource activities, including the taking and use of water, comply with the State’s water legislation.

The department’s compliance activities will help to protect water entitlements in South Australia, and deter illegal activities, such as the unlawful take and use of water.

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

Check your water approval (water licence, works approval) to make sure you understand your obligations. These include:

  • Not to take water in excess of the allocation endorsed on your water licence/account in any given water use year or accounting period.
  • If you have a meter, to submit your meter reading(s) on time.
  • Ensure your metering equipment is not faulty.
  • Only take water from the water sources listed on your water licence.
  • Comply with any other conditions on your approval.

The Department for Environment and Water’s approach to managing non-compliance is outlined in the Water Licensing Compliance Framework. It is important to be aware that penalties apply if you take water in excess of, or without, an allocation click here to view the current penalty rates for the unauthorised taking of a prescribed water resource) and expiations apply if meter reads are not submitted within required timeframes. Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 the current expiation fee is $1099.

For further information on your obligations, tools to help you stay within your allocation and the possible compliance actions that may apply if you exceed that allocation, please refer to the ‘How to comply with the water allocation limit(s) set on your water licence’ fact sheet. You can also contact the local water licensing office or search the Water Licensing and Permit Register.