Basic water rights
There are three types of basic landholder rights in NSW under the Water Management Act 2000:
- Domestic and stock rights
Owners or occupiers of land which is overlaying an aquifer or has river, estuary or lake frontage can take water without a licence for domestic (household) purposes or to water stock.
- Native title rights
Anyone who holds native title with respect to water, as determined under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993, can take and use water for a range of personal, domestic and non-commercial purposes.
- Harvestable rights – dams
Harvestable right water allows landholders in most rural areas to collect a proportion of the runoff on their property and store it in one or more farm dams up to a certain size.
NSW Health warns that water from a dam, river, lake or aquifer can be contaminated with micro-organisms, chemicals or algal blooms. It is not recommended that this water be used for drinking or cooking without appropriate treatment. Information on water quality and treatment is available on the NSW Health website at NSW Health.
To find out how much water you'll need for your stock, domestic and general farming needs go to How much water do I need for my rural property? (PDF 197 KB).