Compliance and enforcement priorities 2021 - 2026

The Water Resources Division is responsible for ensuring compliance with:

  • Water Act 1992 (the Act)
  • Water Regulations 1992 and
  • licences and permits issued under the Act.

The division first established compliance and enforcement priorities in 2020.

These priorities remain fundamental to the objectives and management of water resources and continue to be adopted over the next five years. Read more below.

1. Measuring and reporting water use

Water extraction licence holders are required to install water meters to measure the volume of water taken from a water resource and report their 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 accuracy of water meters and reporting of water use is a priority for the Water Resources Division.

2. Registering bores and statements of bore

All bores must be registered with Water Resources Division for display in NR Maps.

Bores are required to be constructed in accordance with the minimum construction requirements for water bores in Australia. The requirements are set to protect the integrity of the groundwater resources and ensure the requirements for proximity to hydraulic fracturing are met.

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.

3. Interfering with a waterway

Interfering with a waterway, without a permit or other exemption, is an offence under the Act.

Unauthorised interference with a waterway can threaten non-consumptive environmental and cultural beneficial uses and water supplies for consumptive beneficial uses through significant changes in the:

  • volume
  • rate, and
  • direction of flow in a waterway.

To maintain fair and equable distribution of water resources any activity causing an interference with a waterway will be assessed and investigated as appropriate.

4.Unlawful water extraction

Individuals and organisations who take water in contravention of the Act detrimentally affect the:

  • rights of existing licence holders
  • sustainability of water resources
  • availability of water for other users
  • ability to manage impacts on the non-consumptive environment and cultural beneficial uses of water.

5.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 to this objective and the good management and administration of the water resources.

Accordingly, administration of the Recovery of Unused Licensed Water Entitlements policy PDF (378.3 KB) is a priority compliance and enforcement activity.

Last updated: 09 December 2021

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