Glossary and definitions


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

There are many words used to describe water. Consistent and correct use of water terminology can help improve effective communication.

For example: When referring to a body of water there are a range of words that can be used and may mean similar things, but what does each one mean?

  • Lake, pond, pool, lagoon
  • Rivers, streams, tributary, canal, watercourse, estuary
  • Groundwater, bore water, aquifer, artesian water

Some common examples of misused water related words include:

  • Greywater, black water and wastewater
  • Sewerage and sewage
  • Stormwater, rainwater, rainfall, runoff
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