Water affecting activities

Water affecting activities are activities that impact watercourses, dams, lakes, floodplains, springs, wetlands, and waterholes. All activities in these areas have the potential to have significant negative impacts on water users and the environment, especially if poorly designed, located, constructed or maintained.

Activities include:

  • Water diversion and storage - erection, construction, modification, enlargement, or removal of a dam, wall or other structure
  • Building a structure in a watercourse, lake or floodplain
  • Drainage or discharge of water into a watercourse or lake
  • Depositing objects or solid material in a watercourse, lake or floodplain
  • Obstructing a watercourse
  • Excavation or removal of rock, sand or soil from a watercourse, lake or floodplain
  • Destroying vegetation growing in a watercourse or lake, or growing on the floodplain of a watercourse.

Please contact our Water Resources team (8391 7500) to determine whether the proposed activities require a permit.

Permit applications

It is recommended that you submit your permit application at least 2 months before you intend to start the activity. There is a once off payment of $65. All permit applicants are assessed on merit against relevant Water Allocation Plan or Hills and Fleurieu Water Affecting Activity Control Policy, which may take up to 40 business days. An approved permit must be granted before works commence.

Applications forms:

It is important to contact the Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu water team before submitting an application to receive tailored advice and confirm your requirements.

Ph. 8391 7500

Preparing your application

  1. Fill out the applicable application with as much detail as possible, this will help streamline the assessment process.
  2. Lodge the permit application with the following documentation:
    1. Landholder permission (if applicable)
    2. a copy of proof of payment (payment instructions found in application forms)
    3. photos
    4. maps illustrating the proposed works site
    5. specifications documents i.e. drawings (if applicable), and
    6. reports (if applicable).
  3. Email or post your application to:


Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board - Mt Barker

Upper level, corner Mann & Walker Streets
Mt Barker SA 5251

Our Hills and Fleurieu Water Affecting Activities Control Policy sets out the principles for managing these water affecting activities.

Information on dams within the Mount Lofty Ranges

All landholders planning on building a new dam or enlarging an existing dam require either a permit from the Board or development approval.

Water is a precious shared resource so new dam development (construction or enlargement) must be carefully managed to ensure a balance is maintained between dam owners, existing water users, and water-dependent ecosystems. Due to the high number of existing dams and potential impacts to sensitive water-dependent ecosystems, authorisation for new or enlarged dams are generally not approved at this point in time. Please refer to our Dams in the Hills and Fleurieu region factsheet for further information or alternatively please contact our Water Resources Team.

Information about dam safety and maintenance can be found here.

Current recommended practices

A current recommended practice sets out what the Board considers to be the most appropriate approach, methodology and/or design for undertaking particular water affecting activity and negates the need for a permit. The Board requires to be notified prior to the commencement of an activity undertaken.


Water affecting activities - Frequently Asked Questions

Fact sheets

Image gallery

More information

Contact the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board

8391 7500