Essential Water Replacement

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The Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (s30 and s32) provides powers to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) to take water from any waterway or any other water supply on public and private land for firefighting purposes. 

The Essential Water Replacement Scheme was put in place for the replacement of essential water used during bushfire operations by Victoria’s fire agencies.  

In the event of fire, regardless of where it starts if essential water is taken from domestic tanks and stock or irrigation dams for fire fighting purposes, water needed for essential use will be replaced (quantity taken) when requested by the Landholder.   

Essential water is defined as water required to sustain:

  • the health of affected residents and pets
  • the health and productivity of their stock
  • agricultural and horticultural crops, permanent plantings and intensive industries.

If you believe essential water needs replacing on your property, you need to submit an essential water replacement claim form if you'd like the water back. 

For a copy of the form please click here(DOCX, 79KB) or visit for more information.