To help protect our waterways and aquatic ecosystems, the Water Act 1989 requires that in many instances, a water user in Victoria will need a section 51 water licence to take and use water.

While you may not need a section 51 licence to take water for domestic and stock purposes, you may need a licence to construct and operate the works needed to access the water. This can include a private dam that is not on a waterway, a groundwater bore or pumps and pipes off a waterway.

Contact your local Rural Water Corporation to discuss whether you are able to access water under section 8 for domestic and stock purposes and whether you will need to obtain a licence to construct and operate works.

Taking water or installing and operating works without the appropriate approvals from your Rural Water Corporation is an offence under the Act.

Page last updated: 08/09/23