NSW Water Regulator increases reach to help communities comply

Media release | 22 November 2018

The independent NSW water regulator has investigated almost 350 hotline reports during their first 200 days, with no signs of slowing down as staffing numbers are set to increase to 150 by the end of the year.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes said getting more boots on the ground is crucial for effective education and enforcement of the water regulation laws.

“Water is a precious and finite resource. Now more than ever, it’s vital that access to water is shared between communities, irrigators, industry and the environment.

“Since beginning in late April we have travelled across the state, inspecting 172 sites. So many water users tell us they are pleased we are here, however we know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

“My investigators and compliance officers are delivering a fair, transparent and enforceable water compliance system aiming to prevent water theft. The educational advice and assistance we provide those we visit, or who call us, is just as important as our compliance activities.

“Most water users follow the rules and meet requirements however some carry out illegal water activities deliberately or because they don’t know the law. That’s why it’s important all water users familiarise themselves with their licence conditions to avoid any potential breaches.

"To increase our reach across the state we have been steadily recruiting and should have 150 employees by the 31 December. Increasing our numbers will enable timely responses to those who report suspected breaches to our hotline,” Mr Barnes said.

Compliance activities during the NRAR’s first 200 days include:

  • 350 hotline reports investigated,
  • 172 site inspections undertaken,
  • 15 penalty notices issued,
  • 14 remediation notices issued,
  • 8 directions given to protect waters,
  • 5 prosecutions lodged, and
  • 4 stop-work orders given.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au.

For further information about the NRAR and what it does, visit here.

NSW Water Regulator increases reach to help communities comply