Surface water licencing

Apply to issue, amend or cancel a water-use licence (WUL) or water-use registration (WUR).

Surface water licensing includes 2 types of licences:

  • a water-use licence (WUL) – an entitlement to irrigate land. The licence sets out the conditions for use, such as how much water you can use on your land in a single irrigation season.
  • a water-use registration (WUR) – authorises the use of water for non-irrigation purposes. For example, for domestic and stock use or some industrial uses.

Find out how to apply, amend or cancel a licence, and learn more about licence conditions.

How to apply

You can apply to issue, amend or cancel a water-use licence or registration.

We will work with you to determine your licence conditions and the documents you need to include in your application.

Contact us on 1800 808 830 or email applications@lmw.vic.gov.au.

We can provide you with an application form. Application forms are also available online through the Victorian Water Register (VWR).

Go to Forms for licences/registrations and download the appropriate form:

  • Form 23 – Application for a water-use licence or a water-use registration
  • Form 24 – Application to vary a water-use licence and/or water-use registration
  • Form 25 – Application to cancel a water-use licence and/or water-use registration

Each form you download has a unique application number and can only be used once.

You can submit your application and supporting documents:

Fees apply to issue, amend or cancel a licence or registration.

We can’t process your application until the fee has been paid. To pay the fee by credit card, contact us.

You don’t generally pay annual charges for your water-use licence, unless you are in a salinity impact zone.

Licence conditions

The conditions for each water-use licence are specific to local areas. If you are not sure about your licence conditions and obligations, contact our Rural Customer Team.

You can also find out more about water-use licence conditions on the Victorian Water Register website.

Annual use limit

An annual use limit (AUL) is a condition of every water-use licence. The AUL defines:

  • the volume of water you can use under the licence in any one irrigation season
  • how much allocation can be traded into your allocation account.

An annual use limit applies to all water-use licences to ensure that all irrigation water use follows our region’s water-use objectives.

Salinity impact zones

Water-use licences in specific areas of the Victorian Mallee are designated as being in a salinity impact zone and are managed under the Ministerial Determination on Salinity Impact Charges.

Buying or selling property

Water-use licences are tied to the land. If you sell your property, the water-use licence transfers to the new owner at the same time as the land does.

If land covered by a single water-use licence is subdivided, a separate water-use licence is required for each piece of land.