Applying for a WAA permit – step-by-step

  • Fact sheet
  • August 2015
Dam construction or enlargement will require a WAA permit or a development authorisation
Dam construction or enlargement will require a
WAA permit or a development authorisation

Permit applications for drilling, deepening and backfilling wells, bores and groundwater access trenches and the use of effluent or imported water for commercial activities must be lodged with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). Refer to the website for further information.

All other permit applications must be lodged with the Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin. You need to apply for your permit at least two months before you intend to undertake the activity.  

Permits are usually valid for one year from date of issue.

Step 1

Download a permit application form from our website (details below).

Step 2

Complete your application. Provide information about the proposed activity in accordance with the Guide to Applying for a Water Affecting Activity Permit (linked below). Clear and detailed information helps us to assess your application as soon as possible.

Applications should include:

Step 3

Lodge the application, along with the prescribed fee. Information about the fee and lodging instructions are on the application form.

Step 4

When you apply for a permit you may be asked, in writing, to provide additional information. The timeframe of your application may be extended to take any delays into account.

Step 5

An officer may visit your property to assess the application and identify any possible impacts from the proposed activity.

Step 6

You will be notified of the decision in writing. You may be requested to undertake further 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 can appeal to the Environment, Resources and Development Court within six (6) weeks of the decision.

Step 7

Upon completion of the works, you must fill out and return a water affecting activity completion noitice. An officer may then conduct a further site visit to ensure permit conditions have been met.

Penalties may apply

Undertaking a WAA without a permit, or in breach of permit conditions, is an offence under the NRM Act. If you are unsure whether the work you wish to do requires a permit, call our Mount Barker office (details below) for advice before commencing anything. Breaches of the NRM Act can result in protection orders or criminal/civil enforcement notices being served by the SA MDB NRM Board or DEWNR. Financial penalties or prosecution may also apply.

Note: a permit may not be required if the activity has been authorised under other legislation, for example the Development Act 1993, the Environment Protection Act 1993 or the Native Vegetation Act 1991. Please check with our offices to confirm.

More information

Refer to related links below for more information and application forms.

Related links