Licence to Construct a Dam for Irrigation or Commercial Purposes - Victoria


You will require this licence if you intend to construct, alter or decommission a dam for irrigation or commercial purposes.

You will need this licence if you intend to construct a dam on a waterway which will be used to take, use, convey or store water. If you intend to construct a dam off a waterway, you will only need this licence if the dam is a potentially hazardous dam. A potentially hazardous dam is:

  • 5 metres or higher and 50 megalitres capacity or larger
  • 10 metres or higher and 20 megalitres capacity or larger
  • 15 metres or higher, regardless of capacity
  • a dam belonging to a prescribed class of dams.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

When applying for this licence you must:

  • notify neighbouring owners in writing or advertise in your local newspaper
  • have the dam design and construction supervised by a qualified engineer
  • complete a Dam Safety Emergency Plan.

If your proposed dam is on a watercourse or waterway with high ecological value you must also:

  • investigate alternative sites or alternative sources of water supply
  • obtain an environmental assessment report including appropriate conditions (e.g. fishway or passing of flows).

Act(s) name

Water Act 1989 Victoria

Additional information

The proposed dam site needs to be inspected by the Agency before any construction work commences.

Administering agency

Victorian Water Industry Association (VicWater)

Rural Water Corporations