Does the landholder have to be the owner of the land?
No. For domestic and stock rights to apply, the landholder can be the owner of the land or a lawful occupier2. A lawful occupier includes a person with a lease, easement or Crown land licence.
What authorisations are required to take groundwater under domestic and stock rights?
A water supply work approval is required to construct a water bore and take groundwater under domestic and stock rights.
A water supply work approval for a water bore may authorise:
- the construction and use of the bore for any purpose by the landholder, subject to any other authorisations, OR
- the construction of the bore under domestic and stock rights only - in this case the water taken can only be used by the landholder for domestic consumption and stock watering.
A water access licence or water use approval is not required for domestic and stock rights3.
Information on how to apply for a water supply work approval is available on the WaterNSW applications and fees webpage.
How do I find out if my water supply work approval is for domestic and stock rights only?
Use your approval number to check the record for your approval on the NSW Water Register.
If the approval record says the kind of approval is ‘basic rights’, then your water supply work approval is for domestic and stock rights only (unless you are eligible for Native Title rights).
If I do not have domestic and stock rights, can I still take groundwater for domestic and stock purposes?
Yes, but you will need to apply for a domestic and stock water access licence.
The construction and use of the bore to take water under a domestic and stock licence must also be authorised by a water supply work approval, unless other exemptions apply.
More information on water access licences, including domestic and stock licences, is available on the WaterNSW website.
What can water taken under domestic and stock rights be used for?
Water taken under domestic and stock rights can only be used for domestic consumption and stock watering by the landholder.
Domestic consumption and stock watering are defined in Section 52 of the Water Management Act 2000 and explained in the Domestic and stock rights FAQs (PDF, 1228.5 KB)
What is domestic consumption?
Domestic consumption means the use of water for normal household purposes in and around a domestic premises, on the land where the water is taken. This includes water for drinking, laundry, or watering a garden connected to the household.
What is stock watering?
Stock watering is providing water to stock animals being raised on the land for drinking, and to maintain health and hygiene.
Stock watering does not mean:
- providing water to stock animals in an intensive commercial operation, where the animals are housed or kept in feedlots or other building types, or
- irrigating feed for stock animals.
Do I need a water meter on a bore used only for domestic and stock rights?
No, a water meter is not required for a water bore used only for domestic and stock rights.
In addition, bores authorised for domestic and stock purposes only, (for domestic and stock licences), are not required to install a water meter under the new non-urban water metering rules as an exemption applies4.
If a water bore is used to take water for domestic and stock rights and other licences, then a water meter may be required.
See NSW non-urban metering for more information about non-urban metering rules.
Refer to the diagram at the bottom of the page.
What happens if the water sharing plan in my area changes and the conditions on my water supply work approval change?
You will be notified of any changes to the conditions of your water supply work approval.
Changes are most likely to occur when the water sharing plan is remade (every 10 years) or amended.
All new conditions apply immediately, but only in relation to future activities. There is no impact on past activities as new conditions do not apply retrospectively.
Future activities include:
- bore construction, such as requirements for headworks to enable the control of water flow, requirements if contaminated water is encountered, and requirements to submit information using a “Form A”
- decommissioning bores which are no longer being used to ensure they are safe and contaminated water cannot enter the bore.