Domestic and stock rights are one type of basic landholder right under the Water Management Act, 2000 (Section 52). These rights allow you to take and use water for domestic consumption and non-intensive stock watering without a water access licence or water use approval.
These rights apply if you own or occupy a parcel of land which:
- has river, lake, or estuary frontage, or
- is overlying an aquifer.
This is called your domestic and stock right.
You will need a water supply work approval if you wish to take water for domestic and stock rights using a bore, or to construct a dam to hold water taken using domestic and stock rights. More information about applying for these approvals can be found on the WaterNSW basic landholder rights webpage.
Where do domestic and stock rights apply?
Domestic and stock rights are held by those who own or occupy land which:
- has river, lake or estuary frontage, or
- is overlying an aquifer.
This is illustrated in the top two images below. The bottom images are examples of where domestic and stock rights to not apply.
What can you use your domestic and stock right for?
If you have a domestic and stock right, you can use the water you take for:
- domestic consumption, i.e. normal household purposes
- drinking water for stock animals (not including stock raised on an intensive commercial basis, that are housed or kept in feedlots or buildings for all - or a substantial part - of the time they are raised).
For examples of what you can and can’t use your domestic and stock right water for, view the Domestic and stock rights FAQs (PDF, 1MB).
Constructing a dam or bore for domestic and stock purposes
If you take water under your domestic and stock right using a bore, you need a water supply work approval to authorise its construction. You may also need a water supply work approval to build a dam.
An approval is required to ensure the construction of the dam or bore does not cause negative impacts on water sources and their dependent ecosystems, or other landholders’ access to water.
How do I apply for a water supply work approval?
WaterNSW is responsible for water approvals required by rural landholders.
For information about how you can apply for a water supply work approval to construct a dam or bore for domestic and stock purposes, visit the WaterNSW basic landholder rights webpage.
Frequently asked questions
We have answered some frequently asked questions on domestic and stock rights.
The NSW Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR) is responsible for enforcement of NSW water law including domestic and stock rights, and undertakes monitoring, compliance and education activities for this purpose.