Groundwater WAL exemptions for 3ML and Botany Sands

Two new WAL exemptions are now available under the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 (Regulation) for certain water take during aquifer interference activities, specifically:

  • for taking 3ML or less of groundwater per year (3ML or less exemption)
  • for excavation dewatering taking greater than 3ML of groundwater per year in the Botany Sands Groundwater Source only (Botany Sands exemption)

The 3ML or less exemption only applies to aquifer interference activities where the water is not being taken for the purpose of  consumptive use or supply. For example, the exemption applies to water taken to ensure safe and efficient excavation when constructing buildings and does not apply to water taken for irrigation or town water supply.

The Botany Sands exemption only applies for groundwater taken through dewatering to conduct excavation for buildings, roads and infrastructure. This exemption is temporary until 1 July 2021 or until a controlled allocation of access licences occurs, whichever happens first.

To rely on either exemption water users must record and report the water taken in the approved form and manner within 28 days of the end of the water year (i.e. by 28 July). The form is to be submitted by NRAR water users to NRAR, and by WaterNSW water users to WaterNSW. Information on whether you are an NRAR or WaterNSW water user is above.

Water users relying on either exemption are still required to hold other relevant approvals, which may include a water supply work approval.

Apply now

Alternatively, if you would like to download and complete a form (PDF 392.9 KB) you can submit it to or mail it to;

Locked Bag 5022,
Parramatta, NSW 2124

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