Regulations for household dams

As from the 1 January 2011 The Minister for Water amended the regulations for all new household dams in rural-urban fringe areas in Victoria need to be registered with rural water corporations.

Property owners in rural residential areas are required to register with their rural water corporation (Goulburn-Murray Water) any new aesthetic dam, domestic and stock dam, or plan to significantly alter existing dams before commencing any works.

A rural residential area is any property located within the rural living zone, green wedge zones and any residential zone as defined by Victoria's Planning Schemes, or any property that is eight hectares (20 acres) or smaller.

You can check with your local council if your property is in a rural residential zone.  Property owners can also find out what zone they live in at

People with existing dams in rural residential areas will not need to register them unless they want to significantly alter them.

Property owners who live outside a rural residential area (with a property size greater than eight hectares) do not need to register their domestic and stock dams.

If you require a surface water licence (take and use) or a dam construction licence then you do not need to also register your dam. Your licence application form is sufficient for the purpose of the regulation.

If you are unsure whether you need to register your dam or actually require a licence you can refer to this flowchart. 

To register your new domestic and stock dam, or alterations to your existing dam, contact Goulburn-Murray Water on (03) 5826 3500.


 DS Flowchart for new regulations

DSE questions and answers flyer

Download a copy of the Department of Sustainability and Environments "New regulations for household dams flyer"