Active management

The active management rules were implemented in December 2020 to protect active environmental water (AEW) from extraction in the unregulated Barwon-Darling, Gwydir and Macquarie-Bogan water sources. AEW includes:

  • held environmental water (HEW) flowing from an upstream water source
  • planned environment water (PEW) from upstream water sources protected from extraction under the existing water sharing plan rules, and
  • licensed unregulated river water where the licence holder has notified the Minister that they want the water left in the unregulated river water source and protected from extraction.

Prior the implementation of the rules, AEW may have been legally extracted from these water sources, preventing it from reaching intended targets. Active management also provides more certainty to licence holders and other stakeholders about how flows are managed and makes it clear when water can and cannot be taken.

The active management policy (PDF, 494.5 KB) provides greater detail on the scope of active management and how it works. To implement active management, WaterNSW follows the processes in the active management procedure manuals:

For more information please see active management information for licence holders or visit WaterNSW.

Annual evaluation and review

The department has completed the first annual evaluation and review of active management, as required in the procedures manuals. A summary report, including key findings and recommendations is available below. The full report will be available in August-September 2022.