The NSW Office of Water is responsible for managing access to water and ensuring water is shared between the environment, towns and cities, and farmers and industry as well as for Aboriginal cultural activities.
If you have a rural property, requirements for a licence (or other approval) from the Office of Water to access water depends on how and why you want to use the water.
For assistance in calculating how much water you may need for stock, domestic or general farming go to How much water do I need for my rural property? (PDF 197 KB)
A key component of managing access to water is ensuring compliance with water legislation. This is essential to ensure equitable sharing of the resource.
Further information on water licensing is available on this website or you can contact us.
A range of decisions made by the Office of Water under the Water Management Act 2000 may be appealed to the Land and Environment Court.
Appeals are to be made according with rules of court, but must be made within 28 days of the date the decision is made.
Appeals may be made in response to decisions relating to:
Water access licences:
- refusing to grant an access licence
- granting a designated access licence, if the appellant was an objector to the granting of the licence
- imposing a discretionary condition on an access licence
- fixing the term of an access licence
- refusing consent to a dealing in an access licence
- suspending or cancelling an access licence
- recording of any matter in the Access Register or issue of any access licence certificate.
- refusing to grant an approval, other than a decision refusing to accept an application for an approval
- granting a designated approval, if the appellant was an objector to the granting of the approval
- imposing a discretionary condition on an approval
- fixing the term of an approval
- refusing to amend an approval in accordance with an application made by its holder
- suspending or cancelling an approval.
Penalties and compliance:
- ordering an irrigation corporation to pay a civil penalty to the Minister
- ordering a major utility or local water utility to pay a civil penalty to the Minister
- under section 60G of the Act (which allows the Minister to charge for water taken illegally)
- to give a direction to a person under (Part 1), which relates to the enforcement provisions of the Act
- as to a person's entitlement to compensation for damage arising from the exercise of a power of entry.
In some circumstances (such as, for example, where an application or an objection has been dismissed as the applicant or the objector, respectively, has failed to participate in mediation or neutral evaluation proceedings), appeals may not be made.
Appeals associated with integrated development under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act
Under special procedures that operate for integrated development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), an applicant who is not issued with General Terms of Approval or who is dissatisfied with the determination of an application may appeal to the Land and Environment Court which may determine the appeal.
There are no appeal provisions for integrated development under the Water Management Act 2000.