Water affecting activities

The administration of Water Affecting Activities is guided by the Water Affecting Activities policy, an addendum to the SA Arid Lands NRM Board's Regional NRM Plan and a regulatory requirement under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 to ensure the Board’s meets in role in the responsible management of water resources.

What is a water affecting activity?

Water affecting activities (WAAs) are activities that have the potential to impact on the health and condition of water resources, on other water users and the ecosystems that depend on our water resources. Water affecting activities are guided

Why manage our regional WAAs?

Looking after water resources is important to ensuring the health of the plants, animals and people who rely on them. This is particularly critical in our arid environment. The needs of nature and the communities who live and work in the South Australian arid lands must be balanced so that our valuable water resources are sustained. These water resources include watercourses with rivers and creeks often consisting of braided channels, waterholes and broad floodplains. Lakes are typically dry salt beds, clay pans or temporary waterholes situated along creek beds and the Great Artesian Basin springs and associated wetlands are also considered a lake.  Other contributing water resources include artificial wetlands, waterholes and rock holes. Managing activities that may affect these water resources is important to protecting and maintaining the health of these resources, and requires a commitment from everyone.

What activities require a permit?

 WAAs that may require a permit include (but are not limited to):

  • the construction or enlargement of dams, or other structures that collect or divert water
  • building or placing of structures, including the placing of objects to control erosion, construction of water crossings or dumping of material in or near a watercourse, lake or wetland
  • excavating or removing rock, sand or soil from a floodplain, watercourse, lake, waterhole or rock hole, e.g. excavating or cleaning, soaks, waterholes, rock holes or dams.
  • draining or discharging water into a watercourse or lake, or building infrastructure that will convey this water into a watercourse or lake.

Do I need a permit?

If you plan to undertake any infrastructure activity that diverts water or alters flows from a natural watercourse within the region or potentially impacts on the landscape in a way that threatens the health of existing ecosystems, you need to apply for a permit.The cost of a standard WAA Permit is $56.00.
The time taken to assess an application for a permit will vary depending on the complexity of the activity. A simple application will take about 2 months, however more complex applications can take more than 3 months if there is a range of scientific assessments native title requirements or engineering reports to consider. It is however, recommended that you apply at least two months before you propose to undertake the activity.

Permit application forms

Further information