The general principle that underpins the Water Allocation and Licencing system is in accordance to Regulation 13 of the Water Use Regulation, 2016, which stipulates that all water licences shall be issued in accordance with available water resources, Basin or Catchment Management Plan (CMP) and available Catchment Water Allocation Plan (CWAP).

Water Allocation Objectives

The Water Management objectives that drive the Water Right and Water Use Licensing Process include:

  • Availability and Reliability of water supplies for all uses and to all users;
  • Sustainable use of the surface and groundwater resources;
  • Efficient and economic use of water;
  • Equitable access to water;
  • Promotion of private sector participation and enhancing industrial development;
  • Environmental Protection and Sustainability of Ecosystem;
  • Water rights allocation and administration; and
  • Transparent Tariff policy and Break-even Cost Recovery.

Water Allocation Criteria

  • Availability of water resources to meet the WLA demand at the specified level of reliability;
  • Environmental Flow Requirements;
  • Impact of the WLA demand on the downstream reaches and the entire water resources system;
  • Priority rating and Premium of the WLA with respect to the agreed socio-economic priorities set for the Catchment/Region, e.g.
  • Environmental Flow Requirements;
  • Municipal Water Use;
  • Agricultural Water Use;
  • Commercial Water Use;
  • Electric Power Generation Water Use;
  • Fisheries or Aquaculture Water Use;
  • Industrial Water Use;
  • Water Transportation Use;
  • Recreation and Tourism Water Use;
  • Other uses
  • Conformity with existing National Water Resources MasterPlan (NWRMP), Catchment Management Plan (CMP), and Catchment Water Allocation Plan (CWAP), and relative harmony with already approved licences.
  • First in time, first in right