The NSW Office of Water is responsible for managing the state's water sources. A key part of this responsibility is ensuring compliance with water management legislation to enable the secure and sustainable sharing of water between users.
While most water users follow the rules and meet requirements, some people carry out illegal water activities. Water theft and harming a water source are serious crimes. These breaches can threaten water supplies for legitimate water users and harm the environment.
The Office of Water Compliance Policy (PDF 294 KB) explains how we work to prevent, detect and stop illegal water activities. This includes:
- assisting the community to understand their water rights and how to comply with the rules
- monitoring water related activities to identify potential breaches
- investigating alleged breaches and taking appropriate action when a breach occurs.
What you need to know about water compliance
Download the factsheets below to find out how compliance with water management laws may apply to you.
Convictions, warnings and compliance announcements
||Court conviction and fines for illegally sinking bores (PDF 196 KB)
The NSW Office of Water today welcomed the conviction and fines imposed by the Wagga Wagga Local Court for illegally sinking a number of groundwater bores on a property at Nangus, NSW.
||Prosecution for unlawfully taking water costs company director $370,000 (PDF 221 KB)
NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, today welcomed the conviction and fine on a Condobolin farmer relating to taking water unlawfully.
Listen to the ABC NSW Country Hour reporting of the conviction (move the slider to near the 44:00 mark on the timescale)
||Court convicts and fines grazier more than $9,000 for water theft (PDF 197 KB)
The NSW Office of Water today welcomed the recent conviction and fine imposed on a Condobolin grazier, Shaun Graham Hamilton, by the Condobolin Local Court for illegally taking water.
||More compliance staff than ever patrolling the State's water supplies (PDF 193 KB)
NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, today announced that the NSW Office of Water had hired 11 new staff to monitor and enforce compliance with NSW water laws to ensure sustainable supplies for all users.
||Illegal dam court case costs company more than $58,000 (PDF 196 KB)
The NSW Office of Water today said it welcomed the recent conviction and fine imposed on the company November Foxtrot Sierra Pty Ltd by the Armidale Local Court for failing to comply with a direction to remove an illegal dam on Nowlands Creek.
||Commissioner warns of severe penalties for constructing levees without approval (PDF 192 KB)
NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, today warned landowners about constructing unauthorised levees or banks.
Listen to the ABC NSW Country Hour interview with the Director, Compliance Operations, NSW Office of Water (move the slider to near the 44:00 mark on the timescale)
Help stop illegal water activities
You can also play a role in water compliance. Information you provide could help stop illegal water related activities in your local area. Download the factsheet below to find out more about reporting an alleged breach.
To make a confidential report, please contact the NSW Office of Water on 1800 633 362 or send an email to email@example.com.