The NSW Office of Water in the Department of Primary Industries is responsible for the management of the state's surface water and groundwater resources. The Department of Primary Industries is a division within NSW Trade and Investment.

The Office of Water reports to the NSW Government for water policy and the administration of key water management legislation, including the Water Management Act 2000 and Water Act 1912.

Our core business

  • determine the volume of water available for allocation each year to towns, water users and the environment, particularly during times of severe water shortage
  • ensure all users, including the environment, have access to sustainable water supplies
  • develop statutory water sharing plans which set the rules for sharing water between users, and between users and the environment
  • negotiate interstate and national water agreements particularly in view of the significant institutional changes occurring in the Murray-Darling Basin
  • approve the extraction and use of water, and the policies and procedures for the permanent trade of water entitlements and the annual trade of available water
  • coordinate the development of town and non-urban water policy
  • monitor the quantity, quality, and health of our aquatic ecosystems and water extractions.

Key responsibilities and functions

  • water planning and implementation of interstate programs
  • surface water and groundwater management
  • water licensing and compliance
  • water information and modelling
  • science and evaluation
  • policy and regulation of local water utilities
  • provision of legal advice on water matters to the government.

Customer service

Find out more about the standard of customer service you can expect from the Office of Water.

Our structure

August 2014

Organisational chart
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Director General
Scott Hansen
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NSW Office of Water
Deputy Director General Water
Gavin Hanlon
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Water Reform & Evaluation
Deputy Commissioner
Sarah Dinning
  Water Regulation
Deputy Commissioner
Garry Hodson
  Water Resource Assessment & Management
Deputy Commissioner
Bruce Cooper
  Metropolitan Water Directorate
Alison White
  Water Management Executive Coordinator
Tracey Barton