Conducting Water Use License Applications (WULA’s) for farmers form a prominent part of our agricultural client base.  This includes the assessment of Water Rights documentation to establish the validity of Water Licenses or Water Registration for the farmer. Water Use Licensing applications are required in terms of Section 21 of the National Water Act, 1998. (Act no. 36 of 1998). The activities listed in Section 21 which need authorization are:

  1. Taking water from a water resource (e.g. bore holes, rivers, dams, weirs, fountains)
  2. Storing Water (e.g. tanks, reservoirs etc.)
  3. Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a water course, (e.g. building of dams, bridges, or weirs in or near streams and wetlands.)
  4. Engaging in a stream flow reduction activity contemplated in Section 36.
  5. Engaging in a controlled activity (e.g. treatment of effluent at piggeries)
  6. Discharging of a waste of water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe canal, sewer, or other conduit (e.g. irrigation of effluent from piggeries)
  7. Disposing of waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource (e.g. handling of effluent from piggeries)
  8. Disposing of any waste from of which has been heated in any industrial or power generation process
  9. Altering the bed, banks, course, or characteristics of a watercourse (e.g. construction activities in or near rivers, streams, and wetlands)
  10. Removing discharging or disposing of water found underground for the continuation of any activity or for the safety of persons
  11. Using water for recreational purposes.

Industries that use these are irrigation, livestock, feedlots, and abattoirs. Water Use Licence Applications are lodged through an electronic on-line system of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

For more information on the Water Use license application, visit