A modified approach to licensing requirements for monitoring wells (bores) will reduce administrative red tape, lower costs and support industry and development in Western Australia.
Under existing legislation, the construction and/or alteration of all monitoring wells must be licensed, however, the legislation also allows for the Governor to make an exemption from the licensing requirements.
The exemption applies to non-artesian wells that are to be used solely to monitor water levels and/or water quality. Artesian monitoring wells remain subject to licensing requirements.
Department of Water Executive Director Regional Delivery and Regulation Paul Brown said the construction of shallow monitoring wells is considered to present a low risk to the water resource and the exemption has been made taking this into consideration.
“With the growth of industry in Western Australia, there’s been a significant rise in demand for constructing or altering monitoring wells, particularly from within the resources sector,” Mr Brown said.
“Exempting users from the licensing requirements for monitoring wells will reduce the administrative burden on many of our industry stakeholders without increasing the risk to the water dependent environments.”
“Time saved in licence processing and management frees up the department’s staff to increase their effort in enforcement and compliance activities across the state that have the potential to be detrimental to the water resource.”
The department will contact licensees with pending applications affected by the Exemption Order.
The Rights in Water and Irrigation Exemption (Section 26C) Order 2012 was gazetted on 16 March 2012. The order appears on page 1274 of Government Gazette no. 43, which can be viewed at the State Law Publisher website at www.slp.wa.gov.au.