Form 1 guide: Construct and/or alter a well (26D licence)

A step-by-step guide to completing Form 1.
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While Water Online is the most efficient way to apply for and manage your licences, applications are also accepted on paper forms. These may be forwarded to your local department office by post, fax or email.

This is a guide to completing an application on a paper form.

Applying for a water licence to construct a well (bore) does not guarantee access to water. Please view our Water Register to understand the water availability in your area.

Guide to completing a Form 1 application

This guide is for Form 1 - Apply to construct and/or alter a well.

You can read about the five parts to the Form 1 application below.

More information is also available about the licence to construct a well.

If you require further assistance, please contact us on 1800 508 885 or

Important information

It is important to provide all the information required on the application form.

To help you, we have included a checklist located at the back of the application form. There is also a section detailing the attachments you may need and any other documentation you may be required to submit in support of your application.

Supporting documents provided as part of the application may be required under legislation to be made available through Freedom of Information or as part of a parliamentary inquiry. Applicants should note in their applications which documents or information contained in documents are confidential and for what reasons.

Applications deemed incomplete will be returned. Delays caused by the return of an application may result in water not being available when the completed application is re-submitted.

Part 1: Applicant(s) details

It is important that we have your correct details to ensure any licence that may be issued in response to your application is a valid legal document.  

We may also need to contact you during the assessment process, particularly if we require further information from you to assess your application. If we have your phone number and email we can avoid unnecessary delays.

What name do I put on the application form?

A licence can only be issued to a legal entity. All individuals are legal entities and can apply for a licence.

The name(s) of all the persons you wish to be shown on the licence need to be provided. You must provide full name(s). A licence is a legal document and your full name is required. Initials cannot be accepted.

You can also nominate a point of contact within an organisation, or on behalf of other applicants.  In this case we need a letter of authority for this person to act on the applicant's behalf. A statutory declaration can also be used for giving this authority.

Individual: All individuals are legal entities and can apply for a licence.

Organisation: The following organisation types are legal entities:

Company: A company is a business, which undergoes incorporation and becomes a legal entity, separate from the individuals who established it. A company may be registered as either a proprietary company or a public company. A company name has an associated Australian Company Number (ACN) and an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Partnership / Family partnership: A partnership is the relation between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit under the Partnership Act 1895.  A partnership is not a separate legal entity from the partners. A Partnership Name will have an associated Australian Business Number (ABN).

Association /Incorporated body: Many social, sporting and community groups can incorporate under the Associations Incorporations Act 1987. Associations must supply an Incorporated Association Registration Number (ARN) on the application form.

Water service provider: A list of water service licence holders and their licence details is available on the Economic Regulation Authority website.

Government: All local, state and federal government agencies are legal entities.

Aboriginal community: All aboriginal communities are legal entities.

Strata company: A strata company may be a legal entity, that falls within the incorporated body category. The strata company must have a valid IARN or ABN to ensure they are a legal entity.

Trustees and beneficiaries: Trustees and beneficiaries are legal entities, but not the trust itself.

The trustee’s name(s) should be identified on a water licence or permit, described as either a:

  • natural person (e.g. Joe Smith)
  • legal entity (e.g. company name)
  • a body corporate name where enabling legislation identifies it as a ‘statutory body trust’.

Business names: A business name is not a legal entity.

Trusts: A trust is a relationship between two or more legal entities, where one legal entity (the trustee) holds property on behalf of one or more legal entities (the beneficiaries). While trustees and the beneficiaries are legal entities, the trust itself is a relationship, and cannot own or occupy land, or hold licences.

Do I need to provide an ABN, ARN or ACN?

If you have applied for a licence in a company/organisation name you will need to provide the relevant Australian Business Number, Australian Registration Number or Australian Company Number.

If you are a company you must have an associated Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN).

If you are a partnership you will have an associated ABN.

If you are an association or incorporated body you must supply an Incorporated Association Registration Number (ARN).

If you are a strata company that falls within a incorporated body then you must have a valid ARN or ABN.

What address do I provide?

You must provide us with your postal address as all correspondence related to your application and/or licence will be sent here. You must also provide a physical address if you have entered a PO Box address in the postal address section.

Why does the department need my phone number?

We may need to contact you to verify or confirm information in your application. To avoid unnecessary delays in processing your application, please provide a contact phone number.  You can also provide an email address if you have one.

Am I a water service provider?

Water services are regulated under the Water Services Act 2012, under this Act water utilities are regulated by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) through licensing. Exemptions from licensing may be granted by the Minister for Water.

A water service is the provision of any of the following services to another party by means of reticulated conduits and appropriate works:

  • water supply service – supply of potable or non-potable water
  • sewerage service – collection, treatment and disposal of sewerage
  • irrigation service – provision of water for irrigation for agriculture or pasture
  • drainage service – management of stormwater, groundwater, surface water or soil salinity, which may include managing the quality of water.

For details on how to apply for a water service licence and view a list of current water service licence holders please visit the Economic Regulation Authority website.

Find out how to obtain an exemption.

If you are not a water service provider, please leave this section blank.

Part 2: Application details

There may be other forms that need to be completed or information to be provided to us depending on how you propose to take the water and whether the well/soak/excavation/open pump/spear is in place or needs to be constructed (new).

Your application(s) can be processed in a timely manner if all the relevant information is provided. All relevant application forms for your proposal can be submitted together.

What are you constructing/altering?

A well is an opening in the ground made or used to obtain access to underground water. These are sometimes referred to as bores. This also includes soaks and excavations.

A production bore is a general term used when taking water for uses as described in your application form.

A monitoring bore is used to conduct water level or quality testing within a well field or resource area.

Exploratory drilling is when wells are drilled to find water.

How many bores will you be constructing and where?

Please specify in the boxes provided on the application form at Part 2.

  • the number of wells/bores/excavations/soaks you proposed to construct/alter
  • the depth (if known)
  • whether the source of water is artesian or non-artesian.

Artesian well means a well, including all associated works, from which water flows, or has flowed, naturally to the surface.

Non-artesian well means a well, including all associated works, from which water does not flow, and has not flowed, naturally to the surface, but has to be raised, or has been raised, by pumping or other artificial means.

Under Regulation 33(2)(b) of the Rights in Water and Irrigation Regulations 2000 an applicant is required to submit proposed well construction specifications of the well. It is advised that you seek a local driller with knowledge of the area. Your driller should be able to provide a provisional well construction procedure (which provides the construction specifications) to you upon receipt of a quote for the well.

What will the water be used for?

By identifying whether the proposed use of water is for commercial or non-commercial purposes, we will be able to inform you whether water is available for that purpose and whether you need to apply for a 5C groundwater licence also (i.e. a licence to take water). If you require a 5C licence, you will also need to complete a 3G application form.

This can be submitted at the same time as your Form 1 (26D) application.

Please specify the type of commercial or non-commercial use of water in the box provided on the application form at Part 2.

Common commercial uses of water include water used to create a product or service for monetary value such as mining, agriculture and horticulture.

How much water will I need?

This section is only applicable where additional or 'new' water will be required in association with this application to construct or alter a well.

Duration of water to be used is to be indicated in either months or years.

Estimated volume of water is how many kilolitres of water you think you might use in one year.  Please note this is an estimation only.

Please note that 1 kilolitre = 1,000 litres.

Part 3: Property description of where the well is located

To ensure that we capture the correct water resource area for your property where the well is to be located, please ensure that the property description of where the well is located is correct.

Legal land description(s) for properties should be provided as they appear on the Certificate of Title (e.g. Lot 75 on Plan 14797).

Legal land descriptions for mining tenements should be provided as they appear on TENEGRAPH.

Part 4: Location plan

Your plan provides us with the position of the well in relation to your property which can then be used to verify the property description provided above.

These maps are important if you don't know the GPS coordinates of the well.

The exact location of your drawpoint(s) is important to be able to assess and manage your impacts on others and the environment.

Please provide a location plan of the property in the box provided or on a separate piece of paper to be included with your application form.

You should include:

  • the location of all wetlands/watercourses/wells/soaks (existing and proposed)
  • major improvements (house, large sheds, etc)
  • roads or landmarks
  • shaded areas to indicate areas under development.

If required, provide a detailed plan as an attachment to the application form.

Part 5: Signature or seal of applicant

By signing the application form you are confirming that all information in the application form is true and correct. Signatures of all applicants must be provided on the application form before it can be accepted.

If you are the only applicant you must sign the application.

What if there is more than one applicant for a licence?

If you require multiple names on your licence, a signature is required from each applicant. Check to ensure you have provided details of all applicants at Part 1.

What if I am applying on behalf of a company?

If you are applying on behalf of a company or government organisation you must provide written evidence that you are authorised to do so. A statutory declaration can also be used for giving this authority.