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Under the Landscape SA Act 2019, creek owners have a legal responsibility to maintain a watercourse passing through or on the boundaries of their property, and to ensure that the watercourse is managed well and is in good condition. Good watercourse management includes:

  • reducing the risk of flood
  • maintenance and stabilisation of the creek bed and sides to prevent erosion
  • ensuring water quality is not compromised through pollution

Urban Creeks is a property owner’s guide to managing healthy urban creeks. It has been compiled in consultation with several metropolitan councils, and Green Adelaide.

If you are planning to undertake development, or any works such as vegetation removal adjacent to a watercourse or within a flood zone area, please familiarise yourself with information on the Green Adelaide website.

What are water affecting activities?

Water affecting activities are activities that can potentially have negative impacts on the health and condition of water resources, other water users and ecosystems that depend on water resources. Do you want to clean out, enlarge or build a dam, pipe a watercourse or construct a water crossing point? These are just a few examples of Water Affecting Activities that require a permit.

These water resources include watercourses, lakes or dams, floodplains, groundwater, springs, wetlands, waterholes and catchment landscapes, among others. Management of Water Affecting Activities is needed to protect our natural systems and water dependent ecosystems (e.g. wetlands), maintain water quality and minimise impacts on other water users (e.g. ducks and frogs).

Some of the Water Affecting Activities outlined in the Landscape SA Act 2019 that may require a permit, include but are not limited to, the activities listed below. Landholders, property managers, local governments, industry and organisations must lodge permit applications for the following Water Affecting Activities with Green Adelaide:

  • Building of structures (e.g. fences), obstructing or depositing solid materials in a watercourse, lake or floodplain, e.g. erosion control, construction of water crossings or dumping material.
  • The construction or enlargement of dams or structures to collect or divert water.
  • Excavating material from a watercourse, lake or floodplain, e.g. excavating or cleaning soaks, waterholes and on-stream dams.
  • Destroying vegetation in a watercourse, lake or floodplain, e.g. removal of reeds.
  • Draining or discharging water or brine into a watercourse or lake, e.g. desalination waste, storm water including urban discharge, drainage and salinity control.