Maintaining watercourse low-flows

News article |

Low-flows are naturally occurring, small flow or run-off events relied upon by water dependent species to maintain refuges like permanent waterholes. These are things that need to be considered before constructing a dam or bank.

The term ‘low-flows’ can be thought of as the flows our watercourses and wetlands need to function and thrive. They are naturally occurring, small flow or ‘run-off’ events

All water dependent species rely on low-flows as they maintain refuges like permanent waterholes that support the lifecycle of plants and animals. During the drier times they help species to survive until flows return.

Activities such as constructing a dam or bank, digging in a watercourse or lake, installing a structure or placing material in watercourse are all activities that have the potential to interfere with low flows.

If you plan to undertake any activity that diverts water or alters or prevents 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 Water Affecting Activities (WAA) Permit.

A water affecting activity is one that diverts water or alters flows from a natural watercourse, including the construction or enlargement of a dam, building or placing of structures in or near a watercourse; depositing material in watercourse; excavating or removing rock, sand or soil.

The process of applying for a WAA permit is detailed in the guide to applying for a WAA permit. The application form is required to be completed and submitted along with the prescribed fee.

If you have any questions about whether you need to apply for a permit, or the permit application and process, please contact us on 8648 5307. Further information on WAA can be obtained from the SAAL website.

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