Apply for permit to construct dam or alter waterway

This page has information on how to apply for a permit to construct a dam or alter works within a waterway. 

This permit does not let you extract water. If you need to extract water you will need a surface water extraction licence.

You don't need a permit if you are constructing any of the following:

  • road drainage
  • culverts, bridges and urban stormwater drainage works designed and constructed to engineering standards accepted by the relevant public authority
  • rural dams with a bank height of less than 3m and a catchment area of less than 5 square kilometres
  • soil conservation and landcare activities approved by the government.

How to apply

To apply for a permit you must follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the application form for a permit to construct or alter works (17.3 kb) to apply for a permit.

Step 2. Provide all of the following: 

  • soil testing - you need qualified technicians to do a soil analysis of the dam wall, especially for the core, as any errors in that analysis can cause the dam wall to break
  • detailed survey of the storage area to work out how much the dam will hold and the full supply level area of inundation
  • hydrological report with a water balance study to meet the estimated demand
  • detailed dam wall design with engineering drawings
  • detailed spillway and outlet design with engineering drawings
  • geotechnical report including the soil tests, the dam wall foundations and the ability of the dam to store water - outline any potential for leaks
  • assessment of the downstream environment and vulnerability to flooding if the dam fails
  • Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority clearance certificate
  • you may need to do a biodiversity survey depending on the location and the availability of information of biodiversity in the area.

Step 3. Submit the application at your local Water Resources office.

Applications can be advertised to let the public comment on the construction. You will pay for the cost of advertising. 

Any comment received from the public will be considered with the permit application.

Last updated: 27 June 2017