All water bores in Queensland deeper than six metres, including monitoring bores, must be constructed by, or under the supervision of, a licensed water bore driller. The driller must have the correct endorsements on their licence to perform this type of activity including:
- drilling, deepening, enlarging or casing a water bore
- removing, replacing, altering, or repairing the casing, lining or screen of a water bore
- decommissioning a water bore.
Poorly managed water bores pose a risk to underground water resources. Poor water bore construction and decommissioning practices have caused contamination and loss of pressure in many aquifers.
- List of registered water bore drillers (PDF, 52K)*
Putting down a water bore
Before considering sinking a water bore refer to fact sheet Drilling for water (PDF)* for more information. For licensing and construction requirements for underground water in your area contact your local departmental office.
Information to assist the department with your enquiry includes:
- the location of the property on which you want to sink the bore—rural road address or lot on plan number
- how you intend to use the water from the bore
- if you have a current licence to take groundwater
- details of your licence.
Laws relating to water bore drilling
In Queensland, the department manages access to and use of underground water.
The right to take underground water is either established under the Water Act 2000 (the Water Act) or granted under a 'licence' or 'water allocation'. The drillers’ licensing arrangements under the Water Act ensure all water bore drillers are properly skilled and that their work meets minimum standards.
The right to construct works to take the water is subject to the provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Under this Act, you often require a development permit before you can sink a water bore. A development permit can contain construction specifications.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, all people have a duty to take reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the environmental harm resulting from their actions. This general environmental duty applies to all drilling activities. The department administering the above legislation may also impose specific requirements on drilling activities through development permit conditions, environmental authorities or environmental protection orders.
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Last updated 12 February 2013