Policies and Guidelines

NRAR has developed a Quality Policy Statement that confirms NRAR’s intention to develop and maintain a quality management system in accordance with AS/NZSICO9001:2016. This commits NRAR to apply principles of continuous improvement and to conduct periodic review of its regulatory approach, policies, processes, systems and activities.

Download the NRAR Quality Policy Statement

Regulatory policy

This sets out NRAR’s policy for ensuring that water users comply with the legislation. NRAR will apply this policy to set up regulatory strategies and to effectively and efficiently achieve regulatory outcomes. NRAR will take a graduated and proportionate approach to non-compliance based on the severity of the non-compliance (its impact on the environment and potential harm to people or property). NRAR will use discretion in choosing the appropriate regulatory response, striving to achieve fairness in regulatory outcomes while ensuring we act in the public interest.

Download the NRAR Regulatory Policy and NRAR Regulatory Framework

Regulatory Priorities

To carry out our compliance functions effectively and efficiently, our activities are prioritised based on an analysis of the impact and likelihood of non-compliance. These risk assessments take into account different types of information such as ecological and hydrological assessments and community reports of potential non-compliance.

We review and update our priorities on an ongoing basis to take into account new developments and improvements in our data and analytical tools.

Floodplain management

The NSW Government is currently implementing the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy as part of broader water management reforms across the Murray-Darling Basin.

The policy aims to:

  • provide clarity and certainty around how floodplain harvesting is managed in NSW
  • protect downstream users and the environment from the effects of unconstrained floodplain harvesting
  • secure the social licence for legitimate floodplain harvesting activities to continue
  • provide a licensing regime that will form the basis for effective compliance and enforcement.

Floodplain harvesting licences and approvals for all five northern basin valleys are scheduled to be in place by July 2021. Find out more about the floodplain harvesting program.

NRAR has provided advice on our compliance approach to the new requirements.

Water metering framework

The NSW Government has released a robust new metering framework for non-urban water meters in NSW, which commenced on 1 December 2018.

Licensed water users will be required to install compliant metering equipment on works that meet the metering thresholds, by their roll-out date.

Update - October 2019: The NSW Government has announced it will adjust the first three start dates for the new metering rules.

NRAR has provided advice on the compliance approach (PDF 210.1 KB) to the new metering regulations.

Enforceable undertakings

The Enforceable Undertakings assist a party who is wishing to propose an enforceable undertaking to the NRAR in relation to the Water Management Act 2000. Download the NRAR Enforceable Undertaking Guidelines (PDF 245.9 KB).

The Guidelines explain Enforceable undertakings, their purpose, factors that will be taken into account in deciding to accept an enforceable undertaking, and possible terms of any negotiated enforceable undertakings. The template (DOCX 69.5 KB) enables the party, with the assistance of NRAR, to draft their proposed undertaking.

Prosecution guidelines

These guidelines explain and guide the approach NRAR takes in determining the appropriate response to non-compliance with the legislation it administers. NRAR’s power to prosecute the entities it regulates is an important discretionary power and regulatory tool, and in appropriate circumstances, prosecution action will be taken.

Download the NRAR Prosecution Guidelines (PDF 251.5 KB).

Compliance with water legislation guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to inform the regulated and wider community on:

  • how to report alleged breaches of the Water Management Act 2000and Water Act 1912 to NRAR
  • what happens if you report an alleged breach to NRAR
  • how NRAR will respond to reports of alleged breaches.

Download the NRAR Compliance with water legislation guidelines (PDF 416.0 KB).

Guidelines for controlled activities on waterfront land - Riparian corridors

NRAR administers the Water Management Act 2000 and is required to assess the impact of any activity proposed for waterfront land (called a controlled activity) to minimise the harm done to waterfront land as a result of the work. This means that applicants must obtain a controlled activity approval from NRAR before starting any work on waterfront land.

Download the NRAR Guidelines for controlled activities on waterfront land – Riparian corridors (PDF 496.0 KB).