A water licence or other approval from the NSW Office of Water is generally required to extract water from rivers or aquifers to use for commercial purposes.
NSW is currently operating under two pieces of legislation relevant to water licences and water trading (the buying and selling of water licences or annual allocation water):
- The Water Management Act 2000 governs the issue of new water licences and the trade of water licences and allocations for those water sources (rivers, lakes and groundwater) in NSW where water sharing plans have commenced. For more information go to water access licences
- The Water Act 1912 governs the issue of water licences in other areas. For more information go to Water Act 1912.
Under the Water Management Act, water licences are fully separated from the land title when a water sharing plan commences. This facilitates water trading. For information on this process and the timing of the separation of water licences from land in NSW go to Licence conversion.
|If you want to…||Go to…|
|Find out which water sources are governed by water sharing plans in NSW|
|Find information about water licences or on your existing licence and…||you want information on licences to take water from a water source governed by a water sharing plan|
|you want information on licences to take water from a water source outside a water sharing plan|
|Find out about the conversion of licences under the Water Act 1912 to water access licences under the Water Management Act 2000|
|Find out about security interests relating to a 'prior' licence under the Water Act 1912|
|Search for the interests held under the Water Act 1912 and/or the Water Management Act 2000 for specific parcels of land|
|Take and use water to start irrigating and…||you want to take water from a water source governed by a water sharing plan|
|you want to take water from a water source not governed by a water sharing plan|
|Construct a bore|
|Build a dam and…||you want to build a dam in excess of your harvestable right and harvest water from a water source governed by a water sharing plan|
|you want to build a dam in excess of your harvestable right and harvest water from a water source not governed by a water sharing plan|
|you want to build a dam to take water under a harvestable right|
|Find information on engaging a driller|
|Find information on driller's licences|