Victoria has a network of about 300 emergency water supply points (EWSPs). The EWSPs provide water carting for emergency stock and domestic purposes, during severe dry seasonal conditions and surface water scarcity. Some sites are also equipped to supply water to firefighting vehicles.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) oversees the network of emergency water supply points.

The EWSPs are managed by various state agencies, including local councils and urban and rural water corporations.  These state agencies are referred to as the EWSP Manager for maintenance, access and use issues, and for further information.

There are three main types of EWSPs accessible to the public for water carting:

  • Council bores - access groundwater.
  • Urban standpipes – are connected to reticulated potable water systems. These are managed by urban water corporations and access is subject to water availability. A permit may be needed and costs may apply as they are considered a commercial use.
  • Rural standpipes - access channels or reservoirs. These are managed by rural water corporations.

While the government has a drought relief package there is no subsidy available for water carting.

The map below allows you to select a location of interest and identify the nearest EWSPs. It also provides the contact details of the relevant EWSP Manager.

Conditions and costs associated with accessing emergency water supply points

Some bores can only be accessed through prior arrangement with the EWSP Manager. This may involve obtaining access to a key if it is locked, or access may be restricted to licensed water carters.

Water from an EWSP bore is generally free for domestic and stock use. It is not recommended for human consumption. Some bores are fitted for access by fire tankers for fire-fighting purposes.

As an urban standpipe is generally connected to town water, it can only be accessed by a licensed water carter. The licensed water carter will have the correct tanker fittings and will ensure there is no contamination of the source water or the carted water.

The water is generally suitable for drinking.

Generally water from an urban standpipe attracts a charge from the relevant water corporation and  is available for commercial purposes. Pricing is usually tiered to encourage water use efficiency and conservation.

Conditions and costs will depend on water availability and quality. Licensing may be required depending on the intended use.

Accessing an emergency water supply point for a commercial purpose

Accessing an emergency water supply point for a commercial purpose

Charges will apply when accessing EWSPs for commercial use. Check access conditions and costs with the relevant EWSP Manager.

Can I cart water myself?

Yes, from council bores and rural standpipes ensuring you have complied with any relevant conditions.

When carting from urban standpipes a licensed water carter must be used.

To identify a commercial water carter refer to your local business directory.

Is emergency water safe for human and stock consumption?

Water from urban standpipes is generally fit for human consumption.

Water from bores and rural standpipes is not recommended for human consumption.

As the quality of water varies from bore to bore, it is recommended that the tolerance levels of stock be considered against the quality available from each bore.

If you identify any information about an EWSP that appears inaccurate or requires updating please email

Page last updated: 30/08/22