Legislation and policy

Management of water is vested in the Crown and the Northern Territory Government is responsible for ensuring water resources are sustainably managed.  

The Northern Territory Water Act 1992 (the Water Act) provides the overarching legislative framework for water management. The Act provides for the investigation, allocation, use, control, protection, management and administration of water resources. The Water Act provides for the allocation of water to various declared beneficial uses including: agriculture, aquaculture, public water supply, riparian and industry while ensuring that adequate provisions are made to maintain cultural and environmental requirements.  

The Northern Territory is a signatory to the National Water Initiative and is committed to developing water allocation plans for water resources where current or potential water use could pose a possible risk to the ongoing availability and/or health of the resource.

Beneficial use

National water initiative

Water Act

Water Management Principles

Last updated: 28 November 2017