What is a Private Right?
When a landowner has Private Rights to Water, they have the right to take and use water each year without a licence and free of charge, for Domestic and/or Stock purposes only.
What is the meaning of Domestic and/or Stock?
The term Domestic and/or Stock use is defined as:
- household purpose; or
- watering of animals kept as pets; or
- watering of cattle or other stock; or
- irrigation of a kitchen garden up to 0.1 hectares, but does not include use for dairies, piggeries, feed lots, poultry or any other intensive or commercial use.
Can I use the water for any purpose other than Domestic and/or Stock?
A Private Right to Water only refers to Domestic and/or Stock use. If water is to be used for any other purpose, a Licence to take and use water is required. Please phone our Diversions Administration area on 1800 013 357 for licensing requirements.
When does a Private Right exist?
A landowner may have Private Right to domestic and stock water under Section 8 of the Water Act 1989, when there is no Crown Land, Road Reserve or Public Purpose Reserve separating their property from the water, and the property was alienated from the Crown prior to 23 May 1881.
The Private Right is limited to points where the waterway abuts or transverses their property. If a Crown Allotment that would enjoy a Private Right was subdivided before 1 November 1990, all of the lots within that Subdivision that are traversed or abutted by the waterway are eligible to gain the Private Right.
If a Crown Allotment that would enjoy a Private Right was subdivided after 1 November 1990, only one of the lots that is traversed or abutted by the waterway would be eligible to gain the Private Right.
For further licensing information please contact our Licensing Administration Unit by phoning 1800 013 357 or in writing to PO Box 165, TATURA VIC 3616.
Water Use Compliance
Water is a precious and limited resource. It is critical to our economy, environment and communities. This is why water needs to managed fairly for all water users. GMW takes a zero-tolerance approach to water theft to ensure equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing.
It’s illegal to take and use more water than allowed under your entitlement. Whenever a little more water is taken than is allowed, it can easily add up and there is limited water to go around.
Water theft affects everyone in your community and it is important that individual water users do not adversely impact other users or Victoria’s environmental values. Individual water users should make sure they have the right authorisations before they take water from a dam, bore, stream, river, creek or irrigation channel.
A zero-tolerance to water theft provides equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing. If you see something, say something. To report an alleged breach/offence, phone us on 1800 013 357.
For more information on compliance and enforcement at GMW, please see our Water Use Compliance page.