The water resources management rules provide for four different categories into which water use permits shall be classified:
Water use activity deemed by virtue of its scale to have low risk of impacting the water resource. Applications in this category will be determined by WRA Regional Offices.
Water use activity deemed by virtue of its scale to have potential to make a significant impact on the water resource. Permit applications in this category will be determined by WRA Regional Offices.
Water use activity deemed by virtue of its scale to have a measurable impact on the water resource. Permit applications in this category will be determined by WRA Regional Offices after consideration by the Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs).
Water use activity which involves either international waters, two different catchment areas, or is of a large scale or complexity and which is deemed by virtue of its scale to have a measurable impact on the water resource. Permit applications in this category will be determined by WRA Regional Offices after consideration by Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs) and approval by WRA Headquarters.
THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING A WATER PERMIT
The Permitting Process begins when an application for a water permit is received and ends with the issuance of a water use permit. This permit is renewable every 5 years. The permitting process is done manually through the various application steps, as well as electronically through the Permit Database.
The following are the permitting processes as per the ISO Procedure for Water Use Permitting and the Water Act.
STEP 1: RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION FOR WATER USE PERMIT
An application is received together with the attachments and verified as per the Application Check List. Attachments include Hydrological/Hydrogeological Assessment reports. If requirements are met, assessment fees paid as per category of the application. Applicant to be notified if requirements are not met.
STEP 2: APPLICATION ENTERED INTO THE PERMIT DATABASE
The application is entered into the Permit Database where a unique file number containing WRA/Catchment area code/Sub region/Sub catchment number/Application number/initial determining whether the application for Surface water (/S), groundwater (/G), effluent discharge (/E) or Swamp Drainage (F).
STEP 3: PUBLIC NOTIFICATION OF THE APPLICATION AS PER WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT RULE 29
Application is subjected to public notification; site verification undertaken by WRA.
STEP 4: TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE APPLICATIONS
Application is evaluated by the Technical Evaluation Committees (TECs) at the 6 regional offices.
STEP 5: ISSUANCE OF AUTHORIZATIONS TO CONSTRUCT WORKS
Category A Approvals issued
Category B Authorizations issued
Categories C and D applications evaluated by Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs).
If approved, Category C Authorizations issued at the regional offices while category D forwarded to WRA headquarters for further evaluation by the Headquarter TEC
If approved Category D Authorization issued
STEP 6: CONSTRUCTION OF AUTHORIZED WORKS
If works are constructed as authorized, then proceed to Step 7.
If not constructed apply for extension of Time Limit to Authorizations.
STEP 7: SUBMISSION OF REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUANCE OF WATER USE PERMITS
Borehole Completion Record (applicable to Ground Water applications only), Water quality analysis report, collection of Water abstraction permit fees as per category of application.
STEP 8: FINAL INSPECTION OF CONSTRUCTED WORKS
WRA technical officers carry out inspections to verify construction as per the authorized conditions.
STEP 9: PERMIT ISSUANCE
Water use permits issued for categories B, C and D applications or varied as per the recommendations of the inspecting officer and subsequent payments.
STEP 10: PERMIT RENEWAL
Collection of permit renewal fees per category of permit.
Inspection of existing works.