Storage and use

The volume of surface water used in the Northern Territory (NT) each year is roughly 50,000 megalitres. 

You need a licence to take or use surface water. Read how to apply for a surface water extraction licence.

Surface water uses are divided into the following: 

  • 75% urban
  • 12% irrigation
  • 6% pastoral
  • 5% rural
  • 2% mining or other.

Storage of surface water

Surface water is stored in dams, farm dams, excavated tanks, turkey nests or steel tanks. 

Large surface water storages are used for water supply, recreation or flood control. 

The three major dams in the NT are Darwin River Dam, Manton Dam and Mary Anne Dam.

There are only two major water supply systems that use surface water in the NT. 

These are Darwin's water supply from the Darwin River Dam and Katherine's water supply from the Donkey Camp weir on the Katherine River.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017