Water licensing policies

The following policies have been developed to provide:

  • guidance
  • transparency
  • consistency
  • assistance

in relation to water licensing in the NT.

View the current water allocation policies.

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Mining and petroleum activity licensing policy

This NT Government policy clarifies the process for transitioning water extraction licence applications for mining activity and petroleum activity, as defined in the Water Act 1992, into the Territory's water regulation framework.

View the Water extraction licensing – Mining and Petroleum activity policy PDF (260.9 KB).

This departmental operational policy provides guidance and consistency in approach for use by the department to verify a previously authorised licensed entitlement for a mining activity or a petroleum activity.

View the Verifying previously authorised water entitlements for mining and petroleum activities policy PDF (777.9 KB).

Get a print friendly version of the Mining activities: previously authorised water entitlements fact sheet PDF (455.2 KB).

Processing water extraction licence applications policy

This NT Government policy provides guidance on the water licence application and assessment processes.

This policy applies from 1 July 2020.

View the Processing water extraction licence applications policy PDF (771.7 KB).

Trading licensed water entitlements policy

This NT Government policy provides guidance to the Controller of Water Resources on the trading of licensed water entitlements in the Northern Territory.

This policy applies from 21 July 2020.

It does not apply to trade applications accepted by the department as complete on or before 20 July 2020.

View the Trading licensed water entitlements policy PDF (431.5 KB).

Read more water trading information on NT Government website.

Recovery of unused licensed water entitlements policy

This NT Government policy outlines when the Controller of Water Resources will consider commencing a process for the recovery of unused licensed water entitlements.

View the Recovery of unused licensed water entitlements policy PDF (378.3 KB).

This departmental operational policy provides guidance and consistency in approach for use by the department to calculate unused licensed water entitlements.

View the Recovery of unused licensed water entitlements procedure PDF (327.5 KB).

Get a print friendly version of the Recovery of unused water fact sheet DOCX (61.3 KB).

Special circumstances for longer licence terms

This Ministerial guidance policy was established by the Minister on 2 October 2020. It provides general guidance around some circumstances that the Minister may consider comprise “special circumstances” under the Water Act 1992 related to public water supply and 10-year licence renewals. However, as required by the water legislation, the Minister must consider any application for “special circumstances” for a longer licence term on a case-by-case basis and on its individual circumstances at any time.

View the Special circumstances for longer licence terms guideline PDF (570.7 KB).

Regulatory policies

This departmental operational policy gives advice as to the priority compliance and enforcement priorities for the 2020 water accounting year.

View the Compliance and enforcement priorities 2020.

This Water Resources Division policy provides guidance for the appointment and conduct of Authorised Officers under the Water Act 1992.

View the Authorised Officer policy – Water Resources Division DOCX (661.6 KB).

Superseded policies

Darwin rural water licensing policy

This NT Government policy expired on 1 March 2019. It is provided here for reference purposes only. It was in place to guide the prioritisation and assessment of groundwater licence applications in the Darwin Rural Water Control District (DRWCD) received as a result of the revocation of the exemption from the requirement to hold a licence that applied to bores equipped to pump 15L per second or less.

There were 272 licences issued in terms of this policy when it was in effect.

View the superseded Darwin rural water licensing policy PDF (192.8 KB).

Darwin rural water licensing policy: Verifying water requirements

This operational policy was used to support licensing activities associated with the implementation of the Darwin rural water licensing policy.  The operational policy therefore expired with that policy on 1 March 2019. It is provided here for reference purposes only. The operational policy was in place to assist in verifying water requirements for existing activities that required licensing following the revocation of the exemption that applied to bores equipped to pump 15L per second or less.

Management of unused licensed water entitlements policy

This NT Government policy applied from 17 April 2019 to 20 July 2020 and described the framework for the management of unused licensed water entitlements in the NT in accordance with the Water Act 1992. It was superseded by the Recovery of unused licensed water entitlements policy.

View the superseded Management of unused licensed water entitlements policy PDF (256.7 KB).

Prioritising water extraction licences policy

This NT Government policy applied from 1 December 2018 to 1 July 2020 when it was superseded by the Processing water extraction licence applications policy PDF (771.7 KB).

View the superseded Prioritising water extraction licence applications policy PDF (99.4 KB).

Last updated: 06 November 2020

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