Progress continues for NRAR

Media release | 27 October 2021

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is getting the job done despite the challenges of the pandemic. The latest progress report shows NRAR has completed more inspections than ever before, helping water users understand their obligations and what they need to do to comply with the law.

NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes said our routine monitoring program has been a success even during a year where travel was challenging due to COVID-19.

“Getting out and about into the communities of NSW and talking with water users is really important. We were able to safely inspect more than 5,000 pumps and bores during the last financial year. These visits help us understand compliance rates, water users get to know us and how we can help them achieve compliance.”

“The good news is we see most people doing the right thing. We found more than 70% compliance across 2,623 sites. We are on the right track to achieving high levels of voluntary compliance and we will continue to implement strategies to achieve this.”

“Increased inspections saw those doing the wrong thing held to account,” Mr Barnes said.

Our enforcement team has:

  • finalised more than 1,300 cases of alleged breaches of NSW water laws
  • identified 400 breaches
  • completed 7 prosecutions and commenced a further 8
  • taken its 1000th enforcement action

Building public confidence and trust in the enforcement of water laws remains a priority for NRAR and innovation is one of their commitments to increase compliance. A new drone program gives the regulator eyes in the sky allowing quick collection of real-time data.

The current financial year will see the regulator focusing on the implementation of the non-urban water metering framework, as well as its other regulatory priorities.

This is a significant step forward for water management in NSW, for the first time, the metering program will provide more accurate data about how much water is being taken and when.

To find out if and when the non-urban water metering framework applies to you, use the NSW government’s online metering guidance tool.

To view the Progress Report 2020-21 visit NRAR’s website at

NRAR Progress report 2020-21

NRAR Progress report 2020-21 has been released.