Domestic and stock rights
Domestic and stock rights
Construction and use of basic landholder rights (BLR) bores
Under the Water Management Act 2000 (WMA), landholders can take water under basic landholder rights. Owners or occupiers of land which overlies an aquifer can take water for domestic consumption or stock watering.
- Domestic consumption means the use of water for normal household purposes in domestic premises which are situated on the land.
- Stock watering means the watering of stock animals being raised on the land. It does not include raising stock animals on an intensive commercial basis where the animals are housed or kept in feedlots or buildings.
To access water under basic landholder rights, landholders must obtain a water supply works approval to construct a bore, well or spearpoint. It is an offence under the WMA to construct or use a water supply work without an approval. Licensing groundwater works, and monitoring the levels of extraction, helps to sustainably manage groundwater sources, protecting their quality and the ecosystems that depend on them.
WaterNSW is responsible for processing most water supply work approvals and issuing the approvals. Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR) is responsible for licencing larger water users e.g. state significant developments, mining operations, irrigations corporations and government entities. NRAR is also responsible for ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations.
The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) may in limited circumstances, undertake a hydrogeological assessment of the proposed bore and location. This ensures no more than minimal harm is caused to the water source and surrounding ecology.
The landholder is responsible for ensuring that any water taken under a basic landholder right is safe and suitable to use. NSW Health warns that water from an aquifer can be contaminated with micro-organisms. This water should not be used for drinking or cooking without appropriate treatment.
How do I get approval to construct a BLR bore?
- Find out what groundwater is by visiting the DPIE website.
- Read Understanding domestic and stock rights fact sheet to view examples of authorised use of domestic and stock right water.
- If you have an existing bore on your property, contact the Customer Service Centre on 1300 662 077 or Customer.Helpdesk@ waternsw.com.au to check if it is registered.
- WaterNSW has a property mapping tool to assist in preparing a property map to support your application. This guide will assist you in completing an application for a new or amended approval for a water supply work form. You can also access the digital guide here.
- Read Selecting a site for your basic landholder rights domestic & stock bore fact sheet with information to assist landholders when selecting a bore site to construct a stock and domestic bore (BLR bore) under basic landholder rights.
- The Australian Drilling Industry Association will be able to assist in locating a licensed driller in NSW.
- Complete and submit the Application for a new or amended approval for a water supply work form or go to Water Applications Online to complete your application digitally.
- This guide will assist you in completing an application for a new or amended approval for a water supply work.
- Read Understanding your water access licence or approval conditions fact sheet for information on understanding and complying with conditions in relation to your licences and/or approvals.
- Read these FAQs to learn more about drilling a bore for domestic and stock rights.
- Read the Minimum Construction Requirements for Water Bores in Australia (MCR) to understand the minimum requirements for constructing, maintaining, rehabilitating, and decommissioning water bores in Australia.