Creek Management

Under the Natural Resources Act 2004, creek owners have a legal responsibility to maintain the 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, and to ensure 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 the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.

If you are planning to undertake development adjacent a watercourse or within a flood zone area, please familiarise yourself with information on the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges website.

Water Affecting Activities

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.

What are water affecting activities?

Water affecting activities are activities that can potentially have adverse impacts on the health and condition of water resources, other water users and ecosystems that depend on water resources.

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, maintain water quality and minimise impacts on other water users.

Water affecting activities outlined in the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 which may require a permit, include but are not limited to, the activities listed below.

Surface Water and Watercourse Water

The construction or enlargement of dams or structures to collect or divert water.

Building of structures, obstructing or depositing solid materials in a watercourse, lake or floodplain, eg erosion control, construction of water crossings or dumping material.

Excavating material from a watercourse, lake or floodplain, eg excavating or cleaning soaks, waterholes and on-stream dams.

Destroying vegetation in a watercourse, lake or floodplain, eg removal of reeds.

Draining or discharging water or brine into a watercourse or lake, eg desalination waste, stormwater including urban discharge, drainage and salinity control.

Landholders, property managers, local governments, industry and organisations must lodge permit applications for the above mentioned activities with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. For more information visit