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At GWMWater, we’re responsible for regulating farm and household dams under the Water Act 1989.

This includes:

  • issuing works licences for some stock and domestic, irrigation and commercial farm dams
  • registering irrigation and commercial dams, as well as some household and stock dams


Irrigation and commercial farm dams

An irrigation or commercial farm dam needs to:

If the dam is on a waterway or is defined as being 'potentially hazardous', it may also need a works licence. For advice on whether you need this licence, call us on 1300 659 961.

For more information about dams

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Farm Dam Fact Sheet (960kB)

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Your Dam Your Responsibility (1184kB, 90 pages)
Published by Department of Sustainability and Environment

New household and stock dams

Many properties in our region have domestic (household) and stock dams. There was originally no requirement to register these with us, however, laws introduced in 2011 now require the registration of some new or altered dams, depending on the depth of the dam, and location and size of your property.



  • If you have an existing domestic and stock dam in a rural residential area, you don't need to register it, unless you have plans to significantly enlarge it.
  • Property owners who live outside a rural residential area (with a property size greater than eight hectares) don't need to register domestic (household) and stock dams.

Download the Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Domestic and Stock Dam Registration Form (602kB) if you need to register your intent to construct or alter a new dam.


Contact us

If you're unsure whether you need to register your dam, or apply for a works licence, contact us for advice.



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