Responsibilities for granting and managing water licences and approvals are shared between Department of Industry – Water and WaterNSW.

The department is responsible for water licences and approvals required by or for:

  • Government agencies, including other NSW government agencies, local councils and the Commonwealth
  • State owned corporations
  • Water utilities, water supply authorities and licensed network operators under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006
  • Major developments (state significant developments and state significant infrastructure)
  • Mining
  • Irrigation corporations
  • Schools and hospitals
  • Aboriginal communities and businesses
  • Floodplain harvesting
  • Controlled activities carried out in, on or beside rivers, lakes and estuaries

WaterNSW is responsible for water licences and approvals required by:

  • Rural landholders
  • Rural industries
  • Developments which are not state significant development or state significant infrastructure

WaterNSW is also responsible for managing trade of water access licences, licence entitlements and water allocations.