Summary of current water allocations

Below are tables summarising current water allocations for regulated river, unregulated river and groundwater water sources.

View a valley-by-valley comparison of dam storage levels and the opening allocations for 1 July 2019 and 2020.

Allocations that are normally expressed in megalitres per unit share – for example high security, general security and aquifer access – are expressed in the tables below as percentages. One megalitre (ML) per unit share equates to 100% allocation, whereas 0.05 ML per share equates to 5% allocation.

Tables for the unregulated rivers and groundwater sources report by exception, that is, only those water source licence categories that did not receive full allocations are listed.

Carryover water

Water users may have access to unused water in their account carried over from the previous year. Carryover rules vary between water sources and between licence categories. Towns, domestic and stock, and most high security licence categories cannot carryover.

Drought stage

The current drought stage for each inland river valley is included in the table. These range from Stage 1 (Normal operations) to Stage 4 (Critical drought). The drought stage is determined in accordance with the critical trigger levels outlined in incident response guides (IRGs) developed by the department. Further information on the IRGs is available at extreme events.

Drought stage per water source

Water source

System type*

Drought stage

Date of last stage change

Lower Darling

Regulated river

Stage 2

May 2020

Barwon-Darling

Unregulated river

Stage 2

May 2020

Lower Namoi

Regulated river

Stage 3

March 2020

Upper Namoi

Regulated river

Stage 2

May 2020

Macquarie

Regulated river

Stage 3

May 2020

Cudgegong

Regulated river

Stage 2

July 2019

Gwydir

Regulated river

Stage 2

April 2020

NSW Border Rivers

Regulated river

Stage 3

March 2020

Belubula

Regulated river

Stage 3

May 2019

Peel

Regulated river

Stage 4

August 2019

Lachlan

Regulated river

Stage 3

June 2019

Murray

Regulated river

Stage 1

August 2020

Hunter

Regulated river

Stage 2

August 2020

All other water sources

Various

Stage 1

February 2020

* System type refers to regulated river, unregulated river or groundwater.

Current allocations - regulated rivers

River valley

Allocations 2020-21

Licence category

Date of last allocation increase

Murray*

3%

General security

3 August 2020

97%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Lower Darling*

30%

General security

1 July 2020

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Murrumbidgee*

16%

General security

3 August 2020

95%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Lachlan*

0%

General security

14 August 2017

100%

High security

10 August 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Belubula*

0%

General security

21 December 2016

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

Macquarie and Cudgegong*

0%

General security

14 August 2017

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

High security (sub categories)

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Lower Namoi*

0%

General security

7 August 2017

90%

High security

1 July 2020

90%

High security (sub categories)

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Upper Namoi*

0%

General security

21 April 2020

90%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Peel

0%

General security

4 October 2018

50%

High security

1 July 2020

70%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

70%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Gwydir*

1.7%

General security

7 August 2020

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

NSW Border Rivers*

7.3%

General security A Class

1 July 2020

0%

General security B Class

31 January 2018

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Richmond

100%

General security

1 July 2020

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Paterson*

100%

General security

1 July 2020

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Hunter*

30%

General security

1 July 2020

90%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

Bega Brogo

40%

General security

1 July 2020

100%

High security

1 July 2020

100%

Domestic and stock

1 July 2020

100%

Local water utilities

1 July 2020

* Carryover water may also be available subject to s324 restrictions in some valleys.

Current allocations - unregulated rivers

River valley

Current allocation (2020-21) water year

Licence category

Date of allocation

All unregulated river water sources*

Full allocations

All categories

1 July 2020

Campbells River Water Source (Campbells River Downstream Management Zone)

Burrendong Water Source (Macquarie River above Bathurst Management Zone)

Fish River Water Source (Lake Oberon to Macquarie River Confluence)

20%Unregulated River access licences1 July 2020

* Carryover water may also be available, according to water sharing plan subject to s324 restrictions in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water sources.

Current allocations - groundwater*

River valley

Current allocation (2020-21) water year

Water source / licence category

Date of allocation

Eastern Recharge (NSW Great Artesian Basin)

25%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Peel Alluvium

51%

Aquifer (general security) access

1 July 2020

Murrumbidgee Unregulated and Alluvial (Gundagai Alluvial Groundwater Source)

98.4%

Aquifer (high security) access

1 July 2020

Lachlan Unregulated and Alluvial (Belubula Valley Alluvial Groundwater Source)

100%

Aquifer (high security) access

1 July 2020

Lower Lachlan Groundwater Source

100%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Lower Murrumbidgee (Deep)

65%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Macquarie Bogan Unregulated and Alluvial (Cudgegong Alluvial Groundwater Source)

100%

Aquifer (high security) access

1 July 2020

Namoi Unregulated and Alluvial (Manilla Alluvial Groundwater Sources)

85%

Aquifer (general security) access

1 July 2020

Upper Namoi Zone 1, Borambil Creek

230%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Upper Namoi Zone 2, Cox’s Creek (Mullaley to Boggabri)

100%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Upper Namoi Zone 5, Namoi Valley (Gin’s Leap to Narrabri)

100%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

Upper Namoi Zone 8, Mooki Valley (Quirindi-Pine Ridge Road to Breeza)

100%

Aquifer access

1 July 2020

All other groundwater sources

100%

All other licence categories

1 July 2020

* Carryover water may also be available, according to water sharing plan.