Groundwater entitlements

Major groundwater users are generally required to hold entitlements in all states and territories (for example for irrigation, urban, commercial or industrial use). Groundwater use—for stock and domestic, forestry (extraction from aquifers and reduction in recharge rates), drought supply and aquifer storage and recovery—tends to not be covered by entitlements in most areas of Australia (refer to table below). Groundwater extraction for the mining, oil and gas industries is a major component of groundwater extraction in some groundwater management units in Australia ; however, these extractions do not require an entitlement in many jurisdictions currently.

In Victoria , for example, groundwater extractions for stock and domestic use and forestry do not require an entitlement. In Western Australia , in addition to the categories of floodplain harvesting, drought supply, greywater use, effluent recycling, and aquifer storage and recovery, fire-fighting extractions do not require an entitlement. It is expected that emergency uses of water in other states and territories for activities such as fire fighting would also not require a formal entitlement.

Groundwater usage that is not licensed (does NOT require an entitlement)

Number of groundwater management units where usage is not licensed State or territory
ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA National
Irrigation 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 17
Urban 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 17
Commercial, industrial 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 17
Farm dams 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 17
Stock and domestic 1 73 52 29 16 17 65 29 282
Mining, oil and gas 0 10 0 2 0 17 65 0 94
Forestry 0 88 0 0 16 17 65 0 186
Floodplain harvesting 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 43 60
Drought supply 0 0 0 0 16 17 0 43 76
Greywater use 1 0 0 0 16 17 0 43 77
Effluent recycling 1 0 0 0 16 17 0 43 77
Aquifer storage and recovery 0 0 0 0 3 17 0 43 63
Other 0 3 0 0 10 0 0 29 42

Note:

  • Numbers reported indicate groundwater management areas where the usage type does not require a license. In all other groundwater management areas usage requires a license.
  • In Victoria , mine dewatering and other mining extractions require a licence, while extractions for oil and gas extraction do not.

 

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Last Updated 22/06/2007