Water & Water Catchment Laws

Critical importance of water

Water is a contentious area of policy, both locally and nationally. It is a critical natural resource, having many competing uses. Maintaining water quality and sustainable water development is essential for environmental reasons as well as for human uses.

water_-_hose.jpg Throughout the 1900s, lack of water management resulted in extensive pollution and degradation of Tasmania's inland waterways and estuaries, and numerous related problems. There was previously little integration of water management in the state, no guiding policy, too many water managers, little accountability and virtually no opportunity for public input.

However, in 1999 the Water Management Act was passed in order to bring water management into the Resource Management and Planning System and to comply with the nationwide COAG agreements on water policy.

The Act encourages sustainable use of water, and provides mechanisms to protect the health of Tasmania’s valuable freshwater resources, including all dispersed surface water, all water in watercourses, lakes, wetlands and groundwater resources. The Act also allows the Minister to control the taking and use of water from declared tidal areas.

What does the Water Management Act do?

  • It establishes a consistent system of water licensing and allocations. All water users must comply with the licensing regime, including major water users such as councils and Hydro Tasmania (who have a special licence for hydro-generation).
  • It separates water entitlements from land titles. This allows water licences and allocations to be transferred.
  • It provides for the development of Water Management Plans (see below).
  • It establishes mechanisms to ensure enough water is available for the natural environment (Environmental Flows).
  • It sets out the procedures for dealing with applications for dam permits.
  • It creates Water Districts.
  • It provides opportunities for the community to have a say in water management issues.

Which state agency administers water laws?

The overseeing of water management in Tasmania is generally handled by the Water Resources Division of DPIPWE. All other agencies that are involved with water management are accountable to this department. Other agencies include:

  • the EPA Division plays a major role because it is generally responsible for environmental protection, including water pollution. It administers and enforces the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act and the State Policy on Water Quality Management. (☛ Go to Chapter 4 & 5 for details).
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for regulating the quality of drinking water under the Public Health Act 1997.
  • Irrigation Tasmania is a government business entity (GBE) that manages government-owned water irrigation schemes and major projects such as the Meander Dam.
  • The independent Tasmanian Planning Commission has the role of investigating and approving Water Management Plans for Tasmania's water resources.

Can I be involved?

Yes. Water management is of vital importance to the health of our rivers and to the whole community, including landowners, farmers, fishing enthusiasts… anyone who drinks water, for that matter! As you will see below, the Water Management Act provides opportunities for public involvement in the development of water policies, appeals against dam permits and civil enforcement to make sure that the Act is complied with.

If you have an interest in water management, it is a good idea to get involved early and have your say while water management policies and practices are progressively implemented. Look out for public notices inviting public input.

⇔ Click HERE to see policies that are available for public comment at DPIPWE.

⇔ Click HERE to see the status of Water Management Plans under review by the Planning Commission.

Who owns water resources?

All rights to the use of water are vested in the Crown.

How are Tasmania’s water resources managed?

State Water Policy

Tasmanian State Policies have an important role in environmental protection. The State Policy on Water Quality Management identifies activities which may impact on various water resources and provides guidance about managing these activities, such as setting emission limits for pollution discharged to watercourses.

Agencies using and managing water resources must make sure that their activities do not compromise the water quality objectives and protected environmental values set out under the State Policy on Water Quality Management.

⇔ Click HERE to download the Policy.

:!: The State Policy has been subject to a 10 year review. The EPA Division recently released its Response to Public Submissions and Preferred Options Paper.

Water Management Plans

water3.jpg The Water Management Act provides for Water Management Plans to be developed for each of Tasmania’s 48 catchment areas.

To date, Water Management Plans have been finalised for the following catchments:

  • Greater Forester
  • Mersey
  • River Clyde
  • Lakes Sorell and Crescent
  • Little Swanport
  • Clyde
  • Ansons
  • Sassafras Wesley Vale
  • Boobyalla
  • Tomahawk

At the date of writing, preliminary documents have also been released in relation to the South Esk, Macquarie and Ringarooma Catchments.

About Water Management Plans

Water Management Plans determine how a water resource or group of water resources will be used and looked after.

These plans should include:
  • a clear statement of the community’s environmental, social and economic objectives for the particular water resources;
  • a description of the water management regime that best gives effect to these objectives. This may include limits to water allocation in order to guarantee the volume and timing of water that is needed to sustain natural ecosystems. The plan should also for ongoing monitoring and review to see if the management regime IS achieving its objectives; and
  • an assessment of the potential detrimental impacts on water quality.

Plans may also provide for water allocations and licensing (including conditions for transferring allocations) and specify issues to be considered when assessing applications for dam permits. A water management plan should also set out measures to mitigate possible impacts resulting from the taking of water.

The development of these plans is obviously very important to the general public, especially for water users. They are also very important for environmental protection, because they set out the Minimum Environmental Flows which are guaranteed under the Act.

Once approved, the Water Management Plan for each particular area becomes ‘statutory’ (has force of law under the Act) and is binding on water managers.

How is a Water Management Plan developed?

The process for preparing and implementing Water Management Plans is detailed in Part 4 of the Water Management Act.

⇔ This process is outlined in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Water Management Planning process

The WMPs are required to be developed in consultation with catchment communities. Local stakeholders are involved in their development – including commercial water users, council officers and local community members.

The Plans must be consistent with the Objectives of the Water Management Act - which include the primary Objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System. They must also be consistent with the State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997.

To assist with the development of Water Management Plans, DPIPWE has also developed Generic Principles for Water Management Planning and Standard Operating Procedures for the Development of Statutory Water Management Plans. These documents provide guidance on a number of matters that are common to most catchments, including how community consultation is carried out, what water resources are included in the plan, water quality issues that must be considered when assessing applications, licensing provisions for stock and domestic use and useful measures to monitor the implementation of the Plan.

Once a draft Water Management Plan has been developed, the public will be invited to make submissions about the draft plan. This is an excellent opportunity to have a say in how water resources in your area are managed, so keep an eye out for public notices advertising the draft management plan.

Draft Water Management Plans, including any submissions made by the public, are then reviewed by the Tasmanian Planning Commission. The Commission may hold a public hearing before deciding whether to approve the plan.

⇔ You can see current Draft Water Management Plans at the TPC's website.

How are 'minimum water flows' guaranteed?

It is necessary to ensure adequate river flows in order to maintain or improve the ecological health of our rivers. Minimum Flows are therefore legally protected by the Act.

Minimum flow levels for each river/stream are determined by the Water Management Plan being established for that system. Once established, water managers will then be responsible and accountable for ensuring that these flows are maintained.

The Tasmanian Environmental Flows Framework (TEFF) provides guidance on how minimum environmental flows are assessed for a range of different scenarios in stressed and unstressed aquatic ecosystems. It is used for the purposes of water planning and for day-to-day management decisions in catchments that do not have water management plans.

⇔ More information about the TEFF is available HERE.

An issue of public concern is whether or not the declared minimum flow for any particular river or stream will be high enough to sustain or improve river health. Concerned citizens should therefore make sure they have their say in the early stages, to ensure that the required minimum flows for their local river system are adequate.

How are our wetlands managed?

Wetlands are dealt with in the same way as other water resources in Tasmania. The Minister can require a draft water management plan to be developed for any water course, including a wetland area. All management and planning decisions affecting wetlands should also have regard to the Tasmanian Wetland Strategy.

For management purposes, Tasmania's wetlands are classified into eight bioregions. The Wetlands & Waterways Works Manual also provides guidelines for work undertaken in wetlands.

⇔ More information about the management of wetlands is available HERE.

Integrated Catchment Management

A number of years ago, the Tasmanian government began work on a State Policy on Integrated Catchment Management. However, the policy was never finalised and management issues were subsumed by the water management planning process.

As a result, catchment management remains ad hoc in Tasmania. Relevant issues are dealt with through Water Management Plans, the Natural Resource Management Strategy, soil and salinity risk assessment programmes, the State Coastal Policy and Planning Schemes.

Tasmania would benefit from a more consistent approach to integrated catchment management. The current review of the coastal planning and management framework and the development of Statewide planning codes provides an opportunity to develop such an approach.

Who can 'take water' from a watercourse?

Under previous legislation, Water Rights were legally annexed to the land and could only be transferred with the land title (that is, if you bought the land). This made it difficult to obtain water rights unless you were lucky enough to be buying a property with a pre-existing water right attached.

Under the Water Management Act, water rights are no longer attached to land titles, but are ‘owned’ by a person. DPIPWE has the power to grant water licences to any person to take water from rivers and lakes and this water right can be traded (for example, sold or leased to another landowner). However, if you want to sell your water right, you will need to get approval from DPIPWE.

Can landowners still take water from adjoining rivers and lakes?

Under common law, landowners have long enjoyed what is called riparian rights – the right of free access to water in rivers and lakes flowing within their property or along its boundary.

Under Part 5 of the Water Management Act, certain people still have a right to take water without a licence (known as “Part 5 rights”). Owners of land adjoining watercourses or lakes (“riparian” or “quasi-riparian” landowners), as well as casual users of land, may take water for human consumption, domestic purposes, stock watering and fire fighting (these are known as “riparian rights”). In addition, you can take water for private electricity generation as long as taking the water does not adversely affect other users or the environment.

A landowner can take groundwater or dispersed surface water from their land for any purpose.

Recently, the Water Management Regulations 2009 introduced restrictions on some riparian rights. For example, domestic use is now limited to 440L per day for each dwelling and a maximum of 90L per head of cattle is available to water. DPIPWE may also introduce other restrictions to regulate water usage where it is necessary to ensure water is used equitably and sustainably.

Water licences

Subject to some exemptions, anyone who takes water for agricultural or commercial purposes must have a Water Licence. A water licence enables the holder to take an allocated quantity of water from a named water course.

Councils and government-owned agencies such as Hydro Tasmania are also subject to the Act and must apply for water licences.

Water licences must only be granted when DPIPWE has been determined that the volume to be taken, and the method of taking the water, is not likely to cause environmental harm or adversely impact other people who use the watercourse or downstream commercial operations (such as oyster farms). Water licences are normally issued for ten years, but can be periodically renewed.

Section 56 of the Act empowers the Minister to specify the conditions under which water can be taken. Conditions can be imposed to manage environmental impacts; including impacts on water dependent ecosystems, deterioration of water quality, soil waterlogging, increased salinity and erosion, delivery constraints, destabilisation of bed and banks of a river or impacts on other water users.

Any person who takes water from a watercourse or a declared tidal area without a licence, in greater quantity than the licence permits, or in breach of the licence conditions or the Water Management Plan commits an offence.

Whether you have a water licence or not, it is an offence to take water if doing so leads to material or serious environmental harm.

When can you not take water?

Sometimes there will not be sufficient water available for everyone with a licence to take water from the watercourse (for example, during a drought). In these situations, the Minister can impose restrictions on water use, according to a hierarchy of priority uses set out in the Water Management Act.

Essential purposes, such as town water supplies and watering livestock, have first priority. Preserving environmental values has second priority. All other uses, such as irrigation and commercial uses, can be subjected to restrictions of water supply in order to guarantee adequate supplies for the two priority purposes.

Conveying water via a watercourse

Under Part 6A of the Water Management Act, a person cannot transfer water taken from another source, or stored (for example, in a dam) via a natural watercourse without authority from the Minister. The Minister will grant an authority to transport water from another source via a watercourse if she or he is satisfied that the water will not cause environmental harm, significantly impact on other users or adjoining landowners, and will not affect public safety.

:!: Entities specified in the Water Management (Watercourse Authority Exemption) Order 2009 do not require an authority to convey water in a watercourse. These entities include councils, Hydro Tasmania and water corporations.

Interfering with a watercourse

A permit is also generally required if you undertake any activity that may affect the natural flow of water in a watercourse or lake or of surface water, or adversely affects the water resource (including a groundwater resource) or ecosystems associated with that water resource.

How can water offences be prosecuted or remedied?

1. ‘Water Infringement Notice’

An authorised officer can serve a Water Infringement Notice on a person who has committed an offence under the Act (see Part 13 and Schedule 5 of the Water Management Regulations 1999). Water Infringement Notices generally impose a fine and demerit points.

It is an offence to ignore an infringement notice, and you may be prosecuted if the fine is not paid.

2. Ministerial direction

Any person taking water is required to take reasonable steps to prevent damage to the watercourse or broader ecosystems. The Minister may direct a person to rectify any damage that is caused. It is an offence not to comply with these directions.

3. Suspension or cancellation of water licence

If a licensee accrues a prescribed number of demerit points (currently 12), their water licence can be suspended or cancelled.

The Minister can also suspend or cancel a water licence if the licensee is convicted of an offence under EMPCA (see below) or fails to pay licence fees.

4. Prosecution under the Water Management Act

The Minister or a local council can initiate a prosecution against any person who does not comply with a provision of the Act, or the conditions of a permit.

If the prosecution is successful, the court can impose a fine (the maximum penalty is currently $65,000), or order that the offender's water licence be varied, suspended or cancelled.

5. Taking action in the Tribunal

Where a person engages in an activity that breaches the Water Management Act 1999 or has refused to take any action required by the Act, the Minister, the local council or any other person with permission from the Tribunal (known as “leave”) may apply to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal for an order. (☛ Go to Chapter 14 for information about taking action in the Tribunal.)

After a hearing of the matter, the Tribunal may issue an order to:

  • require the person cease the activity temporarily or permanently; or
  • prevent the person from carrying out any use or development in relation to relevant land; or
  • require the person to make good any relevant injury, loss or damage resulting from the contravention.

The Tribunal may also issue a temporary order to restrict an activity during a hearing on an application for an order.

Contravention of an order issued by the Tribunal may result in a fine of up to $65,000. In addition, the government can do any work required by the order to fix damage caused by the breach and recover the cost of the work from the person who contravened the order.

6. Actions under pollution laws

For information about water pollution offences and remedies, see:

If a person is causing 'environmental harm', civil enforcement proceedings could be taken under section 48 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act to prevent the harm. ☛ Click HERE for more information about civil enforcement options.

7. Actions under the Public Health Act

An infringement notice may be issued under the Public Health Act 1997 for failure to register as a user or supplier of private water. A person may also be prosecuted for failure to comply with an order of the Director of Public Health relating to water quality. These offences carry a penalty of up to $6,500.
☛ Go to Chapter 6 for further information.

8. Reviewing a decision

A person with sufficient interest in a decision that has been made under the Water Management Act (known as an “interested person”) has a number of options to challenge the decision.

“Interested person” generally means a person who is directly affected by a decision. You should consider Section 270 of the Water Management Act to see if you fall within the definition.

If you are an interested person, you can:

  • Apply to the Minister for a review of the decision
    To do this, write to the Minister requesting a review and explaining why you think that the original decision was incorrect.
    Applications must be made within 14 days of the decision.
  • Appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (☛ Go to Chapter 14 to see how to do this)
    Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of the decision that you would like to challenge.
  • Apply to the Supreme Court for judicial review of the decision
    Applications for judicial review must be made within 28 days of the date of the relevant decision.

What do I do if someone has breached water laws?

  • Immediately notify the Water Management Branch of DPIPWE, giving details of the breach. Ph: 1300 368 550
  • If pollution is an issue, also phone 1800 005 171 (pollution hotline).
    ☛ Go to Chapter 6 for information about what to do if there is a problem with water pollution.
  • If public health is an issue, also phone 1800 671 738 (health hotline).
  • If necessary, consider initiating legal action yourself.
    ☛ Go to Chapters 13 and 14 for general information about taking action.

Irrigation and farm dams

irrigation.jpg Irrigation can have significant impacts on the natural environment – including pollution of water courses, soil degradation, salinity and water-logging. The need to manage these issues effectively, and consistently, increases as the demand for irrigation grows.

There are around 8,700 registered dams in Tasmania and over 9,000 bores and wells.

Less than 20% of irrigation water is currently sourced from publicly owned infrastructure. The vast majority of irrigation water is sourced from unregulated streams or on-farm storages, using private infrastructure. Work currently being done by Irrigation Tasmania (see below) aims to change this.

How is irrigation regulated?

The Water Management Act provides for the establishment of ‘irrigation districts’. These are administered by a ‘responsible water entity’ – such as a Government Business Enterprise, a council, a company or a co-operative.

The Irrigation Clauses Act 1973 provides a legal basis for the construction, operation and funding of irrigation schemes by a responsible water entity and also the supply and trading of irrigation water.

:!: In May 2013, the Water Management Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced to parliament. The Bill proposes a range of changes to the legislation, and the repeal of the Irrigation Clauses Act 1973. To check the progress of this Bill, go to the Parliament website.

Irrigation Tasmania Pty Ltd

Irrigation Tasmania Pty Ltd was formed in July 2011 to develop and operate publicly subsidised irrigation schemes. Irrigation Tasmania replaced the former Rivers and Water Supply Commission, and subsumed the Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board and Tasmanian Irrigation Schemes Pty Ltd.

Irrigation Tasmania Pty Ltd has been involved in the establishment of a number of irrigation schemes in Tasmania. Schemes operate under a system of water ‘entitlements’ that define the quantity of water that the holder is entitled to. You can buy a water entitlement in two ways: 1. Pay a binding deposit – this will cost 10% of the total water entitlements that you are seeking; OR 2. Pay a non-binding deposit – this will cost 25% of the total water entitlements that you are seeking.

Upon buying water entitlements in one of the above ways, you enter a contract with Irrigation Tasmania Pty Ltd. Your water entitlement contains both an Irrigation Right and a Zoned Flow Delivery Right.

An Irrigation Right gives you an allocation of water during the irrigation season. A Zoned Flow Delivery Right is the right to deliver water to a specified zone. Both Irrigation and Zoned Flow Delivery Rights are granted in megalitres and recorded in a searchable registry. These rights can be traded either jointly or separately.

⇔ To find out more information about current irrigation schemes, click HERE.

Irrigation rights

As discussed above, water rights are now ‘personal’ property and are not attached to land titles. Therefore, you may need to get a water licence to carry out irrigation activities on your property – either by applying for a licence, or buying a water allocation from someone else.

Temporary water rights are also available for occasions when rivers and streams contain excess water. However, these rights are limited and are not suitable for long term irrigation practices.

Any irrigation scheme using recycled water (such as greywater) must comply with environmental and health legislation, including the State Policy on Water Quality Management. You should make sure that your irrigation scheme complies with the Environmental Guidelines for the Use of Recycled Water in Tasmania.

Approval under the EPBC Act

Irrigation schemes may also need to be approved under s.146B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 if they are likely to have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance (such as threatened species, vegetation communities or Ramsar wetlands). For example, the recently approved Lower South Esk River Irrigation Scheme was assessed under the EPBC Act as a result of potential impacts upon important wetlands, national and international heritage places and threatened migratory species. The Irrigation Scheme was approved in May 2012, subject to a range of conditions to address impacts on those matters.

Illegal irrigation

To avoid the risk of prosecution, if you have any doubt about whether or not you can take water and if so, how much, contact the Water Resources Division of DPIPWE.

How are farm dams regulated?

farm_dam.jpgThe construction of dams and weirs in Tasmania are not generally subject to the normal planning approval processes that apply to most other developments (☛ described in Chapter 5).

Instead, Part 8 of the Water Management Act contains special provisions for assessing an application for a dam structure, as outlined below.

Do I need approval to put in a farm dam?

With a few exceptions, it is an offence to build a dam or weir without approval. You could also be prosecuted for environmental harm resulting from your unlawful construction or use of a dam or weir. So it is essential to gain any necessary approvals and advice beforehand. You can contact a regional water manager for advice (☛ see contacts at the end of this chapter).

1. Approval from your local council

Generally, a dam or weir will be considered to be a ‘permitted development’ on land that is zoned rural, so you may not be required to get normal planning approval. However, in the first instance, you should contact your local council to see if you require a permit under the council’s planning scheme. (☛ Go to Chapter 5 for details).

If the dam requires a permit under Pt 8 of the Water Management Act 1999, no additional planning permit is required (s.60A of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993).

2. Approval from Dam Committee

A statutory committee, the Assessment Committee for Dam Construction, is specifically responsible for assessing applications for the construction of dams. Before making an application, contact your Regional Water Manager to discuss your proposal.

A dam permit is required for all dams, except in the following circumstances:

  • The dam is on a watercourse that will hold less than 1 megalitre of water; or
  • The dam is constructed for the primary purpose of storing waste, in which case an approval from the Environment Protection Authority will be required; or
  • To construct an emergency temporary levee or bank during flood.

If you build a dam without a permit, or fail to comply with the conditions of a dam permit, you could be prosecuted and fined up to $26,000.

The Water Resources Division provides technical resources and support to the Committee. The Committee can delegate the assessment of some dam permit applications to the Water Resources Division, provided the proposed dam will not have a significant adverse impact on another person, cause material or serious environmental harm or be located within a pipeline planning corridor.

Depending on the scale and potential environmental impact of the proposed dam, one of the following assessment procedures will be followed:

  • The standard approvals process
    for the majority of applications.
  • The enhanced approvals process
    for dam proposals that are expected to have significant potential environmental impacts
    and/or significant issues raised in representations.

If the Committee believes that a proposed dam is not likely to have a significant adverse impact on another person or cause material or serious environmental harm, the standard approval process will apply. The dam permit application is not publicly advertised and the Committee can delegate its assessment and approval powers to the Water Resources Division.

Where the proposed dam or weir is likely to have significant local environmental effects, including on threatened species or Aboriginal Heritage, the enhanced approval process will be followed. Notice of the dam permit application is publicly advertised and any concerned members of the public can make a representation.

Representations must be made within 14 days of the public advertisement.

If the proposed dam has the potential to create a significant environmental impact then an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required before the Committee makes its decision.

In making its decision, the Assessment Committee must have regard to the objectives of the Act (including the RMPS objectives), any water management plan, matters raised in representations, the effect of the dam on water flows and dam safety. Issues that you could raise in a representation include the impact of the dam on fish passage in the watercourse, future use of water for agriculture and forestry, effects on land drainage and potential damage to cultivated pastures, forests, fisheries, riparian vegetation and local scenery.

If you made a representation, you can appeal against the Committee’s decision in the Tribunal (☛ see Chapter 14). However, appeals are restricted - you can only appeal on the grounds that the approval process did not follow the correct procedure or was unfair. You cannot appeal on the grounds any technical information taken into account or technical finding of the Committee was incorrect.

Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of being notified of the Committee’s decision.

3. Approval from Inland Fisheries

In some situations, the Inland Fisheries Service may require the owner of a dam placed across a river to make a 'fish-pass' if the dam does not allow the free passage of fish. If the owner fails to create a 'fish-pass' the Inland Fisheries Service has the authority either to do the work or have the work done.

Further information & useful contacts

For explanatory information about Tasmania’s water regulations,
including fact sheets, go to this comprehensive departmental website.

For first hand advice, phone your local Regional Water Manager.
RMOs can provide advice and information, and will also process any application for new farm dam.

  • Water Resources Division: (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment)
    GPO Box 44A, Hobart 7001 Ph 6233 8011
  • The Director of Public Health: (Department of Health and Human Services)
    GPO Box 125B Hobart 7001 Ph: 6233 3762
  • Environmental Health Service Hotline
    1800 671 738 (24 Hours)
  • Parks and Wildlife Service:
    134 Macquarie Street, Hobart GPO Box 44A, Hobart 7001
    Ph: 6233 5732 Fax: 6233 3477. Launceston: Ph: 6336 5312.
  • Landcare Tasmania:
    South: PO Box 21, South Hobart 7004 Ph: 6234 7117
    North: 30 King Edward St, Penguin 7316 Ph: 0488 404 061

Relevant laws

  • Water Management Act 1999
  • Water Management Regulations 1999
  • State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997
  • Irrigation Company Act 2011
  • Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
  • Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993
  • Irrigation Clauses Act 1973
  • Inland Fisheries Act 1995
  • Primary Industry Rural Activities Protection Act 1995
  • Public Health Act 1997

You can download the above Acts from www.thelaw.tas.gov.au/

Objectives of the Water Management Act


PART 2 - Objectives of Act

(1) The objectives of this Act are to further the objectives of the resource management and planning system of Tasmania as specified in Schedule 1 and in particular to provide for the use and management of the freshwater resources of Tasmania having regard to the need to –

  • a) promote sustainable use and facilitate economic development of water resources; and
  • b) recognise and foster the significant social and economic benefits resulting from the sustainable use and development of water resources for the generation of hydro-electricity and for the supply of water for human consumption and commercial activities dependent on water; and
  • c) maintain ecological processes and genetic diversity for aquatic and riparian ecosystems; and
  • d) provide for the fair, orderly and efficient allocation of water resources to meet the community's needs; and
  • e) increase the community's understanding of aquatic ecosystems and the need to use and manage water in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner; and
  • f) encourage community involvement in water resource management.

(2) It is the obligation of the Minister, the Secretary, a water entity and any other person on whom a function is imposed or a power is conferred under this Act to perform the function or exercise the power in such a manner as to further the objectives specified in subsection (1) and in Schedule 1.

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