Water for the use of consumption in Victoria is taken from reservoirs, streams and aquifers under entitlements issued by the Victorian Government and authorised under the Water Act 1989 (Vic).

Most water users are responsible and abide by the conditions of their water license. Each year, however, a small number of users break the law when they take and use rural water from an aquifer, dam, stream, river, creek or irrigation channel.

They may take water without an entitlement or licence, they may build an illegal bore or dam, or they might interfere with a water metre. Sometimes these offences are deliberate, and sometimes they happen because people do not know the law.

Read more about the Water Act 1989.

There are six water corporations that provide non-urban water supplies to customers who are involved in this project and can advise water users about their rights and responsibilities:

  • Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water*;
  • Goulburn-Murray Water;
  • Southern Rural Water;
  • Lower Murray Water*;
  • Melbourne Water; and
  • Coliban Water*.

*only applies to rural customers

Find your local water corporation.

Check your rights and obligations

If you are in one of these regions and take and use water from sources such as a dam, bore, stream, river, creek, or irrigation channel, you should check your water entitlement (licence) to make sure you understand your compliance obligations.

If you are unsure of your licence conditions, want to check your rights and obligations in relation to water use, or want to find out if you need a licence, you should contact your water corporation.

Information is also available from the Victorian Water Register

Statistics of offences under the Water Act 1989

The annual statistical compliance report provides details relating to water compliance activities and actions undertaken in Victoria by the above water corporations.