Department Of Water And Sanitation Application Forms

By | December 10, 2021

Department Of Water And Sanitation Application Forms, South Africa’s scarce water resources are under increasing pressure. We will have to use them efficiently, effectively and wisely if we wish to build a sustainable future. In order to do this, we need to know how much water is used, by whom, and where. Once we know this, we will be able to measure it against how much water is actually available for use. In some areas we will then find that there is still extra water that can be made available for use. In other areas we will find that there is already more water being used than the water resources can provide without considerable damage to the aquatic ecosystems.

The National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) gives the Department of Water and Sanitation the tools to gather the information that we need for the optimal management of our water resources. The registration of water use is one of these tools.

What is Water Use Registration?

Registration comprises the asking and answering of 6 basic questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you? (This relates to where the water user may be contacted i.e. contact details / postal address & physical address)
  3. How much water are you using? /how much waste loads are you discharging?
  4. What are you using it for? (This relates to water use sectors and in the case of waste ‘where was the waste generated from)
  5. Where are you using it? (This relates to where the water use is situated (i.e. taking place): Water management area, Quaternary drainage region, Latitude & Longitude, Property)
  6. Where are you obtaining your water or where are you discharging it

Registration forms will be made available on request to anyone who must register their water use. The registration forms comprise a number of pages (in reference to Part 1 (water user information) / Part 2(water use information) and various supplementary forms (property and property information etc.)) in order to provide all the supporting information that the Department of Water and Sanitation requires. This information will enable us to build up a record of water use in the various catchments.

Registration of water use is compulsory to all the authorization types’ namely general authorizations, license, and existing lawful water use. It is not mandatory to register a schedule 1 water use.

For a complete water use registration, a Part 1 form (water user information)/ Part 2 form (water use information) and various supplementary form (property and property information etc.)) are required.

Who must register their water use?

All water users who are using water for agriculture: aquaculture, agriculture: irrigation, agriculture: watering livestock, industrial, mining, power generation, recreation, urban and water supply service must register their water use. This covers the use of surface and ground water. Other water uses which must be registered include:

  • Diversion of rivers and streams;
  • Storage. Any person or body storing water for any purpose (including irrigation, domestic supply, industrial use, mining, aqua culture, fishing, water sport, aesthetic value, gardening, landscaping, golfing, etc) from surface runoff, groundwater or fountain flow in excess of 10 000 cubic meters;
  • Stream flow reduction activities (Afforestation). All afforestation (tree planting) for commercial purposes, including communal forestry for commercial gain, that took place prior to 1972, must be registered.
  • Local authorities and other bulk suppliers (water boards);
  • Controlled Activities, such as irrigating with waste, power generation, atmospheric modification or recharging an aquifer;
  • Discharges of waste or water containing waste in terms of section 21 of the National Water Act. This includes the following activities:
    • Section 21(e) – engaging in a controlled activity defined as such in Section 37(1), with specific reference to irrigation of any land with waste or water containing waste generated through any industrial activity or by a water work.
    • Section 21(f) – discharging waste or water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe, canal or other conduit.
    • Section 21(g) – disposing of waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource.
    • Section 21(h) – disposing in any manner of water which contains waste from, or which has been heated in, any industrial or power generation process.
    • Section 21(j) – removing, discharging or disposing of water found underground if it is necessary for the efficient continuation of an activity or for the safety of people.

The above waste water uses include a number of non-point sources of discharge:

  • Disposal of effluent to land or to a facility (such as a tailings dam, irrigated effluent or evaporation ponds treatments);
  • Disposal of effluent to land or to a facility (such as a landfill, waste rock dumps, fly ash disposal or solid waste disposal);
  • Land use activities such as confined animal facilities or dirty water systems;

Who should NOT register their water use?

  • Water users who receive water from a local authority, a water board, an irrigation board or another bulk water supplier need not to register that use. The Department will register them if required;
  • Schedule 1 users

What is the fee for water use registration?

There is no registration fee. License fee, which may be waived in deserving circumstances, shall be charged as per issued Gazette before a license related water use is registered;

What is the Fee for late water use registration?

A late registration penalty, which may be waived in deserving circumstances, shall be charged for

  • Submitting application for registration of water use not within the predetermined timeframe or
  • Failing to submit requested outstanding information within the specified timeframe as per issued Government Gazette;

Why should you register your Water Use?

  • To manage water resources:
    To be able to manage the water resources of South Africa the Department needs to know where and what water is being used. To manage the water resources effectively means that the Department requires measurement of all the important parameters. This will enable the Department to fulfil the mandate of the National Water Act which strives to promote the optimal beneficial use of water in the public interest.
  • To ensure fair share allocation:
    To be able to allocate water, the Department must know both how much water is available, and how much is already being used.
  • To protect the environment:
    The National Water Act requires the protection of the aquatic environment. To achieve this we must ensure that water use is efficient, is well planned, and that pollution is reduced to a minimum.
  • To enable the Department to charge for water:
    In terms of the Department’s pricing strategy, all users have to pay for water. Once registered, water users will be charged for the water they use. These charges will contribute to the proper management of our water resources thus protecting the future water security of users.

When is the period for water use registration?

  • A legal notice shall be gazetted or advertisements shall be placed in the local media to inform such users to register; when required to register a specific water use in a defined geographic area;
  • When water users trade or transfer their water use to someone else they shall promptly inform the Department of Water and Sanitation of the transaction for the registration of the new water user (after the Department has approved the transaction);

Do I receive Registration Certificate?

  • A signed Registration certificate will be issued to successfully registered water users;

Will I be charged based on the information that I provide in the registration forms?

Yes. The Department has implemented a raw water use pricing strategy for water use charges in terms of Section 56(1) of the National Water Act, Act 36 of 1998, which was published in the relevant Government Gazette. The Department is currently implementing a waste discharge charge system in order to implement the polluter pays principle for the waste discharge related uses. Waste water users in those catchments where the charges are to be implemented will be involved in the Department’s stakeholder consultation process in due course.

Where must you register your water use?

All persons or bodies required to register can contact any of the Regional Office of the Department of Water and Sanitation (//

Where do I get water use registration forms?

Water use registration forms are available on the website (// or in your local Regional Office of the Department of Water and Sanitation (//

Who do I contact more information or any enquiries?

  • Regional Directors
  • Area Managers of the nearest offices of the Department of Water and Sanitation

Benefits of Registration

  • Registering your water use promptly and correctly will improve your claim to lawful use established before the promulgation of the Act.
  • If you register, you will not have to face prosecution for non-compliance.
  • If you do not register you might lose your claim to use water. Ultimately all significant water use will be licensed. If you are not registered, we will not be aware of your use and will not be able to licence your water use!


In terms of Section 151 (1) of the National Water Act, Act 36 of 998, no person may use water otherwise than as permitted under this Act, fail or refuse to give data or information, or give false or misleading data or information when required to give information under this Act, fail to register an existing lawful water use when required by a responsible authority to do so and fail to register a dam with a safety risk;

  • If you trade or transfer your water use to someone else you MUST promptly inform the Department of Water and Sanitation of the transaction;
  • If you have bought water from someone, you should register your water use;
  • If you are asked to register your water use, you should do so within the specified period.

Any person who contravenes any provision of subsection 151(1) is guilty of an offence and liable, on the first conviction, to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or to both a fine and such imprisonment.