Leading policy and reform in sustainable water management

Water Monitoring Framework

Water Monitoring Framework

The NSW Government's Water Monitoring Framework transforms how water data and information is captured and used to protect precious water resources. The Groundwater Baseline Project is gathering the facts we need to make informed decisions that ensure our water resources are protected.


Water accounting for catchments


Tumut River at Tumut (courtesy of Dayle Green)

The Office of Water is producing water accounting reports using the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1. The reports present a detailed annual analysis of water resource management for selected catchments across NSW. Read or download our water accounting reports >>

Thinking of drilling for water?


Groundwater bore

Before you construct a bore, spear point, well, or excavate to access groundwater, you should ensure that you hold a bore licence or approval and comply with its conditions, and that your bore driller has a current licence issued by the NSW Office of Water. Read more or get an application form here >>

Get the most out of your water licence


Rotarainer north west

Water dealings can involve buying or selling your water access licence or part of it. It can also mean buying or selling allocation water, changing the location where a licence can be used and even subdividing and consolidating licences. This can maximise the commercial benefits of your water licence. Read more or get an application form here >>

Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program


Adelong sedimentation pond

The NSW Office of Water provides technical, management and financial support to local water utilities through the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program. The program has enabled the completion of more than 300 water supply and sewerage projects delivering enhanced public health, improved environmental outcomes and security of supply to more than one million people in country areas of NSW. Read more about water supply projects >>

Review and replacement of water sharing plans


Crop irrigation

NSW water sharing plans apply for ten years. The first 31 plans made in 2004 are due for replacement by 30 June 2015. Read more information about the water sharing plans review >>

Groundwater management


Tarcutta streams groundwater

Groundwater supplies more than ten per cent of water used for drinking, stock, agriculture and industry in NSW. Many different ecosystems rely on groundwater. We are investigating groundwater-surface water connections to understand how water moves between rivers and nearby aquifers affecting water availability. Read more about groundwater ecosystems >>

How effective are water sharing plans in your catchment?


Hawkesbury-Neapean river

It is important to know if water sharing plans are meeting their objectives. To find out, the NSW Office of Water is assessing the ecological and socio-economic performance of water sharing plans. Valley progress reports highlight these investigations. View the progress report for your area.

Guide to Basin Plan released by Murray-Darling Basin Authority


Rice harvesting

The Basin Plan is a Commonwealth Government initiative that will set enforceable limits on water extraction in the Murray-Darling Basin. The plan will also include an Environmental Watering Plan and a Water Quality and Salinity Management Plan. To read more, go to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Scientific monitoring


Bio sampling in the Karuah River by NSW Office of Water scientists

Monitoring not only assesses how our rivers are responding to environmental flows, but also investigates how different patterns of water flow affect the way our rivers function. As our scientific understanding increases, we will be able to more effectively allocate water to the environment and other water users, and better evaluate the performance of water sharing plans.

Stay informed with algal alerts


Blue Green algae

Algal blooms can cause waters to be unsafe in both freshwater and marine water environments. Algal alerts are issued by Regional Algal Coordinating Committees responsible for the local management of algal blooms. Call the NSW algae hotline on 1800 999 457 for algal alerts. Check for current algal alerts >>

News updates

  • 19 August 2014
    Water Monitoring Framework
    The NSW Government's Water Monitoring Framework transforms how water data and information is captured and used to protect precious water resources.
  • 12 August 2014
    Management of Menindee Lakes 2014/15
    Community Information Communique Issue 6 is now available.
  • 5 August 2014
    New fact sheet for Aquifer Interference Policy
    A new fact sheet has been developed to explain how the Aquifer Interference Policy applies to quarrying and extractive industries. It includes a summary of two new initiatives for aquifer interference activities that aim to reduce regulatory burden and promote the profitable and sustainable use of groundwater.
  • 1 August 2014
    Recognition of cultural water requirements in the Snowy River
    Cultural flows are being implemented in the Snowy River this spring. Five high flow events have been named by Aboriginal Elders and interim cultural water objectives have been set for 2014-15.
  • 16 July 2014
    Deferral of IPART determination on water charges
    NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, Kevin Humphries, has welcomed the decision by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to defer its determination of water charges for Office of Water customers, meaning prices will remain unchanged until 1 July 2016.
  • Latest media releases
    Read media releases from the NSW Office of Water, and check algal alerts.
  • Previous news updates