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Water plans, permits and policies

Are you looking to undertake an activity or development that will impact a local lake, creek or river? If so, you may require a permit. Read below for more information and details on how to apply.

Water affecting activity permits

Some activities are identified in the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 that have the potential to have adverse impacts on water resources and the ecosystems that depend on them, as well as other water users. These are called water affecting activities and may require a permit. They include:

  • the construction or enlargement of dams or structures to collect or divert water
  • building of structures, obstructing or depositing solid materials in a watercourse, lake or floodplain (e.g. erosion control, construction of water crossings or dumping material)
  • excavating material from a watercourse, lake or floodplain (e.g. excavating or cleaning soaks, waterholes and on-stream dams)
  • destroying vegetation in a watercourse, lake or floodplain (e.g. removal of reeds)
  • draining or discharging water or brine into a watercourse or lake (e.g. desalination waste, stormwater including urban discharge, drainage and salinity control)
  • drilling, deepening and back filling wells, bores and groundwater access trenches
  • the use of effluent or water imported to an area for commercial activities, e.g. irrigation.

How to apply

  1. Select the application form required for your activity.
  2. Complete the form and lodge it via email or post.
  3. An application fee of $60 is required upon lodgement of the application form, which can be paid via cheque or EFT.

You must apply for a permit at least two months before you intend to undertake the activity. The statutory turnaround time to issue a permit is 40 business days. The first step is to complete and lodge the relevant application form.

If you would like further information or require assistance with your application form, please contact the Green Adelaide team on (08) 8463 3733 or email

Please note: To assist with the assessment of your application, additional supporting information or a site visit may be required.

Application forms

Water affecting activity permit application form – Water storage and diversion - Green Adelaide

Water affecting activity permit application form – Water storage and diversion

PDF | 0.6Mb
Water affecting activity permit application form – Other works - Green Adelaide

Water affecting activity permit application form – Other works

PDF | 0.6Mb

Outcomes of applications

All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application.

Successful applicants may be required to undertake additional actions in line with the conditions of an approved permit.

If your permit application is not approved or you disagree with any of the permit conditions, you are welcome to appeal to the Environment, Resources and Development Court within six weeks of the decision.

Upon completion of works a further site visit may be conducted to ensure permit conditions have been met.