If you intend to obtain share in a water source within an area covered by a Water Sharing Plan, you will require a Water Access Licence (WAL). A WAL provides a clearly defined entitlement to the water that is separate from land ownership and provides access to the available water governed by a Water Sharing Plan. Water Sharing Plans establish rules for sharing water between environmental needs and water users, and also between different types of water use such as town supply, stock watering, industry and irrigation and rural domestic supply.
There are different WAL categories that define the priorities between difference access licences, the conditions that apply to them and define how water may be used. There may also be different criteria for different water sources.
There are two broad types of water access licences:
- A specific WAL which is granted for a specific purpose and ceases to exist once that purpose no longer exists.
- A WAL with a zero-share component, which means that the licence holder has no specific shares in the water management area but is allowed to have a water allocation account and to buy or transfer allocation water on an annual basis or share component from another licence holder.
Please be aware that generally new WAL for commercial purposes (irrigation, industry and mining) are no longer being granted. Instead, if you want to obtain a permanent share of water, you will have to purchase an existing licence on the water market.
Please consult the Contact Officer for a comprehensive list of the specific types of available licences and for more information.