Garden bore regulation

Small-scale garden watering exemption

In Western Australia, garden bores do not need to be licensed if they are used for irrigating small areas of garden and lawn and the water is taken from the shallow, watertable aquifer (such as Perth’s Superficial aquifer).

Garden bores generally do not require licensing because they are small bores, using a small amount of water compared with other licensed groundwater users, and they spread the take of groundwater if they are used wisely. Garden bore water doesn’t usually require treatment because the water quality is fit for use on gardens and lawn, so they also help save treated scheme water for drinking and other human purposes.

You do need a water licence from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation if you are in a proclaimed groundwater area and you:

  • use a bore to irrigate areas of garden and lawn of 0.2 hectares or more (2,000 square meters or more)
  • use a bore for commercial purposes, such as to grow produce or for industrial and mining purposes
  • take water from an artesian aquifer (such as Perth’s Leederville and Yarragadee aquifers).

See our main website for more about applying for a water licence and garden bore licensing exemptions.

Download pdf Strategic policy 2.03 – Managing unlicensed groundwater use

 

When can I use my garden bore?

To help save our precious groundwater and only give gardens the water they need, the following permanent water efficiency measures and exemptions apply to garden bores in WA.

Download pdf Waterwise garden bore use

Daytime sprinkler use is restricted

You can use your garden bore once on a rostered day, either before 9am or after 6pm.

This reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation.

Find out more about daytime sprinkler restrictions

Three rostered watering days a week in Perth

You can use a garden bore on three rostered days a week in the Perth–Peel area and on any day for other parts of WA.

Find your rostered watering days through Water Corporation

Find out more about the sprinkler roster

Switch off sprinklers for winter

You must not use sprinklers from 1 June to 31 August each year in Perth and the South West.

Your garden already gets enough water during this period thanks to winter rain and lower evaporation rates.

Find out more about the winter switch off

Automatic exemption for maintenance

You may use your garden bore and sprinklers while the system is being installed, maintained, tested or repaired, to the minimum extent necessary.

We recommended a maximum of two minutes per station and to carry out work on your sprinkler roster days, before 9am or after 6pm.

Find out more about automatic garden bore maintenance exemptions

New lawn and garden establishment

You must apply for a temporary exclusion from sprinkler restrictions if you need to water new lawns and gardens while they are being established.

Apply online for a new lawn or garden exemption if you have a Water Corporation account

If not, contact us on 1800 508 885 (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation).

Register shared garden bores

If you share a bore and the irrigation system won’t allow you to water only on your rostered days, you can register the bore to avoid an infringement.

Find out more about shared bores under automatic exemptions

Report a breach in sprinkler use in Perth

Help save groundwater in Perth and report a breach in sprinkler restrictions.

Anyone found using a garden bore in breach of sprinkler restrictions can be fined $100. In Perth this includes the daytime, three-day-a-week roster and winter restrictions.

Report a sprinkler restriction breach on Water Corporation’s website

Report a breach in sprinkler use in the South West

Help save groundwater in the South West and report a breach in sprinkler restrictions.

Anyone found using a garden bore in breach of sprinkler restrictions can be fined $100. In the South West this includes the daytime and winter restrictions.

Report a sprinkler restriction breach by contacting your water service provider in the first instance (Aqwest in Bunbury, Busselton Water in Busselton or Water Corporation elsewhere in the region)