Licence applications & fees

Responsibilities for granting and managing water licences are shared between our department and WaterNSW.

For information, go to Governance.

Rural landholders and rural industries

WaterNSW is your one stop shop for licensing services for rural landholders and industries.

Our department’s customers

The following information is provided for our department’s customers.

Water access licences

You can apply for a new water access licence:

  • with zero licence shares - to take water you will need to purchase licence shares or water allocations on the water market
  • with a specific purpose relating to domestic consumption, water utilities, or Aboriginal cultural purposes
  • in accordance with the rules for granting new water access licences in the relevant water sharing plan
  • if you have acquired the right to apply through a controlled allocation process.
Water access
Zero licence shares Apply and pay online 
Application form (PDF, 319.62 KB)Guide (PDF, 63.06 KB)
Specific purpose Apply and pay online 
Application form (PDF, 320.28 KB)Guide (PDF, 72.54 KB)
Controlled allocation Apply and pay online 
Application form (DOCX, 184.93 KB)Guide (PDF, 97.56 KB)

Water Act 1912 licences

You can apply for a new Water Act 1912 licence:

  • relating to lakes and rivers, and drainage works (Part 2 licence):
    • surface water licence - for single landholding with the same landholders
    • authority for joint water supply scheme - for multiple landholdings with different landholders
    • surface water permit - duration up to two years.
  • relating to aquifers and aquifer interference activities (Part 5 licence).
Water Act 1912 licenceForms
Lakes and rivers, and drainage works Surface water licence Application form (PDF, 699.39 KB)
Authority for joint water supply scheme Application form (PDF, 534.79 KB)
Surface water permit Application form (PDF, 621.43 KB)
Aquifers and aquifer interference activities Groundwater licence Application form (PDF, 701.23 KB)

Application fees

For information about application fees for new water licences, download the Fact sheet: Water licences - application fees 2018-19 (PDF, 103.85 KB)

Amending your water licence

WaterNSW is responsible for managing applications to amend water licences, including for our department’s customers.