NSW General Purpose Water Accounting Reports

The department continues to progress major reforms driven by commitments made under the National Water Initiative which recognised the need for a standardised, cohesive and comparable approach for water resource accounting, reporting and data systems.

NSW has become the leading state in implementing General Purpose Water Accounting Reports (GPWAR), under the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 (AWAS 1). GPWAR are currently published annually for all major NSW inland valleys following the closure of a water year and provide consistent and transparent information to water stakeholders, internal staff, external government agencies, universities, water brokers and the general public.

GPWAR provide commonly sought water information including:

  • Climatic conditions (How did the annual reporting period compare to historical conditions?)
  • Water resources (How much water was there?)
  • Water resource changes (Where did the water originate and where did it go?)
  • Water resource commitments (How was the water distributed amongst stakeholders?)
  • Water resource utilisation (How much entitlement is active and what proportion of available water is being utilised?)
  • Environmental water (How much water was available for environmental use, and how much was delivered to environmental assets?)
  • Water resource management (What legislative rules determined the sharing of available water?)
  • Water market activity (How much water is being traded, and how much does the water cost?)
  • Future prospects (What conditions are expected in the following water year?)

The production of GPWAR requires information to be collated and verified from a wide range of sources and formats, combined with various estimation methodologies to produce an easy to access “one stop shop” point of truth perspective of the water resources and management within a water source for a defined period.

Supporting information

  • A Guide to GPWAR ((PDF 1.2 MB)) - This document highlights the fundamental concepts via a simple hypothetical example.
  • GPWAR - Groundwater methodologies ((PDF 6.6 MB)) - Our General Purpose Water Accounting Reports include estimates of the physical groundwater processes occurring in the relevant NSW aquifer systems. These estimates were required to be produced by implementing a range of methods which are discussed in detail in this document.