Generally legal liability does not attach where water flows naturally across a boundary (as a result of rain, floods, or the slope of the land). If the flow of water is caused directly or indirectly by a neighbour's activities, the occupier may be able to take legal action to stop it happening again and for compensation for any damage caused. A drainage easement (normally registered on the land title documents) gives a person the legal authority to direct water onto another's land.
If there is no permission an occupier has a right to sue:
Problems can also arise where neighbours share a stream, lake or other waterway and one person's activities pollute the water. A complaint should be made to the local council, which has power to control water pollution. Complaints can also be made to the regional landscape board of the area- please see the Landscape South Australia website for more information [link opens in a new window].