Compliance and enforcement priorities 2020

The Water Resources Division is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Water Act 1992 (the Act), Water Regulations 1992 and licences and permits issued under the Act.

Current priorities

Each year, Water Resources Division will establish its compliance and enforcement priorities. Priorities for the 2020 water accounting year are listed below.

1. Failure to comply with reporting requirements

Water extraction licence holders are required to report their monthly meter readings. This information is critical to monitoring compliance with the Act, determining water availability and understanding the impact of extraction on water resources. Improving the consistency of compliance with reporting requirements is therefore a high priority for the Water Resources Division.

2. Recovery of unused licensed water entitlements

Licensed water entitlements are a finite resource granted to licence holders to promote the sustainable economic development of the Territory for the benefit all Territorians. Holding unused licensed water entitlements in a consistent way is contrary this objective and the good management and administration of the water resources. Accordingly, administration of the Recovery of Unused Licensed Water Entitlements policy is a priority compliance and enforcement activity.

When and where this effort will be undertaken, in terms of which licences/areas, will not be made public.

3. Submission of the statement of bore for new bores

Bores are required to be drilled in accordance with the current version of the Minimum Construction Requirements for Water Bores in Australia. The requirements are set to protect the integrity of the groundwater resources. To ensure new bores have met the requirements, a Statement of Bore must be submitted to the Water Resources Division within 28 days of the bore being drilled. Therefore, ensuring Statements of Bore are submitted on time is a priority for the Water Resources Division.

Enduring priorities

There are some forms of conduct so detrimental to the protection, management and administration of water resources that they will always be a high priority.

4. Unlawful water extraction

Individuals and organisations who unlawfully extract water in contravention of the Act detrimentally affect the rights of existing licence holders; the sustainability of water resources; availability of water for other users; and the ability to manage impacts to the environment.

5. Over extraction of licensed water entitlements

Licensed water entitlements are granted based on a number of factors, including water availability, demonstration of need for the water and the environmental impact. Over extraction of licensed water entitlements presents similar risks as unlawful water extraction; undermines the licensing framework and is unfair to licence holders who invest in the proper management of their water use.

Last updated: 09 December 2021

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