Waterways FAQs


My livestock currently access and drink water from the river/creek. Will this be allowed to continue via a gap in the fencing? 

No. Direct livestock access to waterways does not align with the management objectives of the reserve areas due to the impact they have on the banks of rivers and creeks, vegetation, and water quality.


How will these changes affect my rights to water? How am I going to get water for my livestock?

Once the Crown land frontage is fenced you will no longer have direct access to the waterway.

Off-stream stock watering infrastructure (eg. troughs, pipes, header tanks) will be encouraged and funding assistance for this may be available through Melbourne Water’s Stream Frontage Management Program. If pumping from the waterway,  you will be required under the Water Act to obtain a take and use licence for domestic and stock purposes.

To find out more about the program and to make an application, you can visit Melbourne Water’s website at www.melbournewater.com.au and search for 'Stream frontage management program’ for further information.

Or contact: Edwina Manifold ph: 03 9679 6823

or email:     edwina.manifold@melbournewater.com.au.

Other options for obtaining water are provided below.



What are my options for getting domestic and stock water?

There are several options for obtaining water for domestic and stock purposes:

Catchment runoff and roof water

Catchment runoff or roof water from the property can be captured into a tank or stock dam. This can be used for stock and domestic use free of charge and without a licence. Construction of new dams may require planning permits from your local council or approval from Melbourne Water.

Water from a bore

A person has the right to take water, free of charge and without a licence, for stock and domestic use from a bore on the land occupied by that person. Construction of the bore will require approval from Southern Rural Water.

Potable water supply

Potable water may be used for domestic and stock use where connections are available. Contact your water retailer, Yarra Valley Water, on 1300 651 511 for information on availability.

Licensed extraction from a waterway

Where access to a waterway can be obtained, a licence may be issued by Melbourne Water for the take and use of water for domestic and stock purposes, subject to the conditions of the licence including any condition that might limit the amount of water that may be used.


How do I get a domestic and stock licence?

Landholders who fence off the Crown land boundary  may make an application to Melbourne Water for a take and use licence. Issuing of a licence may be subject to the applicant obtaining relevant access to the waterway from the Crown land manager for the purposes of placing pumps and lines.

Landholders whose Crown land licence is being phased out may be eligible for a domestic and stock allocation to be granted to them. Landholders without historic licensed occupation of the Crown land will be required to purchase a licence allocation through trade with an existing licence holder.  Additional information around obtaining a water licence and water trading can be obtained from Melbourne Water’s website at www.melbournewater.com.au/diverters or by phoning 13 17 22.


How much will a domestic and stock licence cost me?

Application fees and licensing fees may be waived for the first three years for eligible landholders whose Crown land licences are being phased out. After this time, annual licensing fees will apply. Fees are subject to inflation but the 2015/16 annual fee for a domestic and stock licence was $339.30. Landholders without historic licensed occupation of the Crown land will be required to pay licence application fees between $676 and $998 as well as the annual fees.



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