Allocations & availability

Based on water sharing plans, the department ensures the available surface and groundwater resources are shared equitably, and that water entitlements and allocations are secure and tradeable.

The volume of water licensed users can access is known as an available water determination (or water allocation). Allocations vary from year to year based on an individual entitlement. This is dependent on a range of factors including dam storage levels, river flows and catchment conditions.

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    Are developed by the department in consultation with the community and determine how much water can be extracted and how much needs to be set aside.

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    Water accounting

    We continue to progress major reforms driven by commitments made under the National Water Initiative.

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    Droughts & floods

    Our network of over 700 telemetered water monitoring sites is a critical element in decision making by key agencies.

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    Controlled allocations

    Obtain a new water access licence through a controlled allocation.

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    Temporary water restrictions

    Check out the latest temporary water restriction updates.

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    Northern Basin First Flush Assessment

    The NSW Government has appointed an independent panel to assess the management of the 2020 Northern Basin First Flush event.

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    North-west flows in early 2020

    In late January and throughout February 2020 the NSW Northern Murray Darling Basin received significant rainfall and inflows, following an extended dry period. These flows were protected from take by s 324 restrictions to meet critical needs in the northern valleys and to provide flows into Menindee Lakes.