Building a Farm Dam
A streamlined, risk-based approach for the approval of farm dam construction has been developed by the Tasmanian Government. This is the result of amendments to the Water Management Act 1999 (the Act) that came into force on 1 January 2016.
Farm Dam Construction Factsheets
A series of factsheets that outline the requirements for seeking approval and building a farm dam are available below.
Factsheet 1 - Building a Farm Dam
If a proposed dam meets all of the specific criteria that deem it to be lower risk, it will go through a simple permitting process. Dams not meeting all of these criteria are considered to be higher risk and will require a full application, assessment and permitting process.
Lower risk dams must meet ALL of these:
- are not on a watercourse or water way (including a flood plain), and
- have a maximum wall height of less than 10 metres, and
- do not involve the clearing of more than 1ha of native vegetation, and
- present a low risk to people, infrastructure or the environment in the event of failure, and
- on land not subject to any covenants, encumberances nor owned by a person other than the applicant.
Higher risk dams must meet AT LEAST ONE of these:
- are on a watercourse or water way (including a flood plain), or
- have a maximum wall height of more than 10 metres, or
- involve the clearing of more than 1ha of native vegetation, or
- present a medium or high risk to people, infrastructure or the environment in the event of failure, or
- on land subject to covenants, encumberances or owned someone not the applicant.
All proposed dams (both lower risk and higher risk) require a consultant or dam engineer to make an assessment of the dam safety category.
Factsheet 1 - Building a Farm Dam (1Mb)
Factsheet 2 - Contractor Responsibilities
Both lower risk and higher risk dams, as defined in the Building a Farm Dam factsheet has an associated Dam Works Code
which describe the minimum construction standards that must be complied with. This factsheet contains some basic information on the Codes. Factsheet 2 - Contractor Responsibilities
Factsheet 3 - Dam Safety Responsibilities
Once a dam has been completed and a Notice of Completion of Dam Works has been submitted there are ongoing monitoring requirements for the dam owner. Factsheet 3 - Dam Safety Responsibilities
Factsheet 4 - Lower Risk Farm Dams
Dam Works Codes
These codes include minimum construction standards that the dam owner is responsible for including:
- maximum wall heights
- minimum crest widths
- upstream and downstream batter slope requirements
- minimum spillway depths
- minimum dry freeboard depths
- minimum outlet pipe sizes
Find the codes on the NRE Tas dam works codes webpage
Dam Works Permit Guidelines
These are a series of detailed guidelines that provide information on the process of obtaining a dam permit on the NRE Tas dam works permit guidelines webpage
Dam Works Assessment Decision Framework
The Dam Works Assessment Decision Framework is a high level document that sets out the parameters for dam works assessment. Dam Works Assessment Decision Framework (289Kb)
Dam Works Application Forms
The forms that are required to be submitted for any dam works can be found on the NRE Tas water management forms webpage
The page also includes lists of dam application and dam safey consultants, earthmoving contractors and a fees summary.