Apply for a bore work permit

You need a permit to construct or do work on a water bore in water control districts in the Northern Territory (NT).

A permit will allow you to do the following:

  • drill and construct a new or replacement bore
  • decommission, plug, backfill or seal off a bore
  • deepen or alter a bore
  • remove, replace, alter, slot or repair the casing, lining or screen of bore.

You don't need a permit if:

  • the bore or proposed bore is not more than three metres deep
  • the location of the bore is outside a water control district
  • you will be cleaning out a bore (eg air lifting)
  • the bore is constructed or used (including to supply water) for the purposes of:
    • laying water supply or sewerage pipes or other pipes and cables associated with water, gas or electricity supplies or telephonic or electronic communications
    • carrying out site investigations for the foundations of a building, road or cutting
    • constructing the foundations of a building, road or cutting
    • extracting water from the area occupied by the foundations of a building, road or cutting
    • locating materials necessary for the construction of a road or earthen structure
    • a drain under the control of a public authority.

To apply you must follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the application

Application for a bore work permit PDF (194.2 KB).

New construction

If you are applying to construct a new bore you will need to attach a scaled map to your application that shows:

  • the proposed location of your bore
  • key landmarks
  • a North point.

You can view the location of registered bores on the Natural Resource (NR) Maps website.

Find out more about bore construction.

Existing bores

You will need to include your bore number on the application. This starts with 'RN' and should be displayed on your bore.

Step 2. Submit

Submit your application to Water Resources.

Applications will take around two weeks to process.

You will receive a bore work permit. You must adhere to the conditions of your permit.

View an example of a bore work permit PDF (133.0 KB).

You will need to engage an NT licensed driller and provide them with a copy of your permit.

Commercial water use

A bore permit does not grant a right to take water from a bore.

Taking water from a bore for commercial purposes or for irrigating a domestic garden greater than 0.5 hectares requires a water extraction licence.

Last updated: 08 July 2019


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