NSW Groundwater allocations

Media release | 25 June 2020

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is making new water access licences available in 43 groundwater sources across NSW.

Executive Director Programs and Services, Graham Attenborough, said “we have taken a conservative approach in making a limited number of shares available in specified groundwater sources that are not fully committed”.

“The release of these groundwater shares will provide another avenue for new or expanding businesses to buy groundwater, which is important given that opportunities to buy groundwater through trading are very limited in many areas of NSW and the prolonged and severe drought that is still impacting large parts of the State.

“The controlled allocation approach also preserves a portion of the unassigned groundwater to meet the future needs of urban water suppliers and holders of basic landholder rights,” he said.

“Controlled allocations of groundwater commenced in 2009 and have been operating since then to allow new access to groundwater for urban, regional and rural industries and communities.

“Under a controlled allocation, ‘unassigned’ water is made available through a competitive process and successful participants are given the right to apply for a water access licence in a particular groundwater source and for a specified number of shares,” Mr Attenborough said.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment invites interested parties to register their interest during the registration of interest period, which opened on 23 June 2020 and closes on 22 July 2020.

Further information on the process, as well as details of how to register an expression of interest can be found on the department’s water allocations availability-controlled website page.