Permits for water affecting activities

Water affecting activities need to be managed carefully and may require a permit. You need to apply for your permit at least two months before you intend to undertake the activity. Please note that the authorisation required for dams may be either a water affecting activities permit or a development authorisation.

  • Water affecting activities permit is required for dam construction, enlargement or modifications to a volume of 5000 kilolitres or less, and/or with walls of 3 metres or less above the natural ground surface.
  • Local council development approval is required for dam construction, enlargement or modifications of a volume greater than 5000 kilolitres, AND/OR with walls greater than 3 metres above the natural ground surface OR if the property is located within the Hills Face Zone.

New dams in the Western Mount Lofty Ranges

Please note, if your property is located in the Western Mount Lofty Ranges you may not be able to construct a new dam until the ‘Reservation of excess water’ is removed.

If you have any queries, please contact the Policy Officer Water Permits on (08) 8271 9100.

Applying for a water affecting activities permit

The process of applying for a water affecting activities permit is detailed in the guide to applying for a water affecting activities permit

The first step is to complete and lodge the relevant application form:

You may at this time also be required to provide additional supporting information, and receive a visit from a natural resources officer to assist with assessing your application against the water affecting activities assessment principles. You can find these principles on page 41. If in doubt about what is required applicants are encouraged to contact the Eastwood office to talk to the Policy Officer Water Permits.

You will be notified in writing regarding your application, and you may be required to undertake additional actions in accordance with the conditions of an approved permit. If your permit application is not approved, or you disagree with any of the permit conditions, you may appeal to the Environment, Resources and Development Court within six weeks of the decision. Upon completion of works a natural resources officer may conduct a further site visit to ensure permit conditions have been met.

Fact sheets


Related links

More information

  • Policy Officer Water Permits
    (08) 8273 9100
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges