The department supports the sustainable management of water in South Australia.

We do this by issuing licences and water allocations, measuring water use through metering requirements, managing water in high demand areas and providing water for the environment.

Prescribed water resources are managed to ensure water use in these areas is sustainable. They are managed under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 and include the issuing of water licences that provide what is called a water access entitlement to the holder of the licence.

Do you need a water licence?

Activities that require you to have a licence vary depending on the water resources prescribed within a region, but may include underground, watercourse or surface water extracted for:

Do you need a water permit?

If you are planning an activity that could impact on a water resource or an ecosystem that depends on one, you may need a permit. Permits enable these activities to be monitored and regulated to ensure our water resources remain sustainable into the future.

Our Water Licensing Branch administers permits for the following activities:

Access a water licence or permit application form now.

Similarly, water affecting activities in relation to dams and draining or discharging into any watercourse, floodplain or lake require permits that are administered by Landscape Boards.

Contact your local Landscape BoardBoard to discuss your application requirements if you need a permit to undertake any of the following:

  • erect, construct or enlarge a dam
  • draining or discharging into a watercourse or lake
  • conduct a water affecting activity in a watercourse, floodplain or lake.

You may also be interested in

The metering water use website which provides information on the requirements for metering licensed water use (including the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification).

Search the Water Register for information about current permits, licences, allocations and approvals across South Australia.

Read more about our related priorities