Resources for managing water use on farms

Licensing and regulation

Taking and using water must be in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Find out more about your responsibilities:

Environmental obligations

Controlling livestock access is a critical management tool in the protection and restoration of the riparian zone (the land alongside creeks, rivers, streams). Unrestricted stock access causes disturbance and pollution. It also results in lower quality of available water.

Fencing of streams and dams requires alternative watering points (and sometimes shelter) for grazing animals.

Alternatives include:

  • limited stream access water points
  • reticulated water supply

Read protecting our drinking water catchments.


Water is an essential requirement for running a livestock business and has a significant impact upon stock welfare, farm productivity and business profitability. Find out more about managing farm water supply.

Providing water in a trough compared to in a dam can improve water quality by excluding stock from the water source.

Dairy farms

See Water use in the dairy shed for information on managing water for dairy farmers.

Securing water for your rainfed dairy farm

For information relating to planning for dry conditions and option to secure water download:

Rural lifestyle properties

For printed copies of Water supply options for rural lifestyle properties and the Managing Farm Water Supply booklet, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Farm dams

See Managing dams for resources on dam construction, maintenance and other issues associated with farm dams.

Water quality

An adequate supply of good quality water is a vital element of most farming enterprises. Many water quality issues are associated with the collection, storage and reticulation of water.

Page last updated: 15 Sep 2020