Search Listing Details

Water Resource License
Responsible agency
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is the state's water resource management agency. We manage and allocate water in Western Australia through licences and permits issued under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

 A Licence to Take Water allows you to take a specified amount of water (the entitlement) from a proclaimed (and in certain circumstances an unproclaimed) groundwater or surface water resource.

Please note that a licence to take water:

  • is a legal document with terms, conditions and limits which must be complied with
  • does not give you ownership of the water resource (as all water is vested in the crown and the department grants you access to this water for your use under a licence, exemption, riparian or other right in accordance with the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.)
  • may be transferred, traded or leased to another person subject to the department's approval (refer FAQ 4: Transfers, trades and agreements).
  • Each application is assessed on an individual, transparent and equitable basis in accordance with the requirements of the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914, licensing policies and water allocation plans.

The assessment of licence and permit applications and ongoing management of licensed water entitlements is vital to optimising the use our water resources. Consideration is given to both the short and long term economic, environmental and social impacts of granting and/or refusing licences as outlined in the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

A general licence assessment will take into consideration the following:

  • Is the application in the public interest, environmentally acceptable and ecologically sustainable?
  • Does the application prejudice current and future needs for water or is it, in the opinion of the department, likely to have a detrimental effect on another licensee's use of water?
  • Can the water be provided for by another source?
  • Is the application in keeping with local practices or a water allocation plan approved by the department?
  • Is the proposed development consistent with current land use planning, requirements and policies of other government agencies, or any intergovernmental agreement or arrangement?
  • A licence assessment may not be limited to these considerations. The department may require an applicant to provide further information to enable an assessment to be undertaken on a case-by-case basis.

Please contact your local Department of Water and Environmental Regulation office to find out if you need a licence.

For more information contact the Water Licensing Branch, office  on (08) 6364 7600 during business hours or email  

To access the Water Register see:

Date updated
28/08/2017 22:38:10