Use of road bores

Road bores are normally used for road construction and maintenance work, but landholders can apply to access water in these bores.

You will only be given approval if the bore has sufficient capacity to meet the future needs for road construction and maintenance.

This capacity is measured by either:

  • airlift rate which can obtained from government
  • or the pump rate obtained from independent tests.

There are also rules you must follow once approval to use a road bore is granted.

While the landholder may be given approval to access the bore, the lease to do so does not entitle the landholder to erect any structures or carry out trenching activities. This would require a separate approval involving permission to work within the road reserve and permission to erect or trench.

The Northern Territory (NT) Government and its contractors will have first call on use of the bore.

Apply to use a road bore

Before you apply

You will need to get a permit to work within a road reserve before you access the bore.

You will need to apply for bore access in writing including the following information:

  • the intended total daily volume of water to be used
  • period of that the bore will be required
  • pump lift rate in litres per second.

You must not:

  • use any type of pipe or through culverts within the road reserve
  • trench through sealed surfaces
  • build a discharge point near to the bore
  • build a discharge point that allows stock to wander onto or across the road reserve.

How to apply

Submit your application to

Using a road bore and maintenance: landholders

If you are granted approval, you will be given a lease that is to be signed by you and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. This lease can be withdrawn at any time.

You will also be responsible for any equipment at the bore, including its maintenance and associated costs.

If you fix any equipment to the bore, you must remove this once your approved lease has ended.

The government and its contractors always have the first call on the use of the bore. They will give you at least 14 days notice if they intend to be in the area to use the bore.

If the government or its contractors need to use your equipment at the bore, the department will seek permission from you in writing.

If the equipment if not suitable, then the department will send you a notice giving you 14 days to remove the equipment.

If you don't remove your equipment from the bore, it will be moved by the government or the contractor.

The contractor is expected to restore the bore to its condition prior to the works starting.

Last updated: 03 January 2019

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