How do I get a licence for irrigation?

A water licence can be obtained from Department of Primary Industries Water (DPI Water).

A licence is required to extract water from rivers or aquifers for commercial purposes, such as farm irrigation, but not to harvest rainfall, such as in a small dam.

The type of licence required depends on whether the water comes from a source governed by a water-sharing plan. Water-sharing plans have rules for sharing water between environmental needs and the users. Irrigation in such cases requires a 'continuing' water access licence.

Find out more about licences


In some water sources new water licences may still be granted. However, in other areas there is an embargo in place, particularly on water licences for irrigation and industry. In these areas you can only obtain licences for specific exempt purposes (such as town water, stock and domestic supply, drought relief, etc.).

Water trades

In some areas you may be able to purchase and transfer a licensed entitlement from an existing licence holder. For more information, refer to trading water under the Water Act 1912 information on the Department of Primary Industries Water (DPI Water) website.


For more information about irrigation and water licences, contact Department of Primary Industries Water (DPI Water).
By phone: 1800 353 104
By email: