The Ministerial Guidelines for Groundwater Licensing and the Protection of High Value Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems are now available here.

Applications for new groundwater entitlements or to trade groundwater will now be assessed against these guidelines so that high value groundwater dependent ecosystems are protected.

The guidelines:

  • establish a clear framework for considering groundwater dependent ecosystems when making groundwater licensing decisions;
  • clarify how high value groundwater dependent ecosystems are to be protected; and,
  • provide guidance on how to make an assessment about groundwater dependent ecosystems in consideration of sections 40 and 53 of the Water Act.

The guidelines also include direction for rural water corporations on when to refer applications to catchment management authorities for additional information and comment.

Publishing of these guidelines delivers on a key action to improve protection of high value groundwater dependent ecosystems when licensing groundwater.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning thanks rural water corporations and catchment management authorities for their contributions over the past two years in development of the guidelines.