Draft replacement of the Water Sharing Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Water Sources

Greater Metropolitan Region river water source

Recent flooding in the Greater Metropolitan Region

Community engagement on the draft replacement Water Sharing Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Water Sources 2023 is being rescheduled for some areas and the public exhibition period extended, due to recent flooding in the Greater Metropolitan Region.

Some communities in the Metro region are recovering from their second flood in a year. It is not appropriate for us to engage with these flood effected communities, at this time. We will seek the feedback of these communities at a later date, on the proposed changes to the rules that may affect their access to water.

The department has made the following three changes to the approach to developing the replacement water sharing plan. These changes ensure we meet our legislative timeframes for replacement, while acknowledging that flood effected communities can’t provide their views at this time:

1. Amended engagement schedule

We will continue to engage with communities that have not been heavily affected by recent floods. Public information sessions have progressed in Sydney City, Goulburn and Bowral. Session in Lithgow, Katoomba, Parramatta and Wollongong have been rescheduled and we look forward to discussing the proposed draft plan with stakeholders at these meetings.

We will reschedule engagement with communities that have been heavily effected by the recent floods. Information session in Camden, Penrith and Windsor have been cancelled as it is not appropriate to engage with stakeholders in these areas just now. The replacement plan will only include limited changes in these areas.

We will come back and talk to these communities later, engaging about proposed rule changes during the life of the replacement plan.

2. Extension of public exhibition period

We are proceeding with public exhibition of the draft replacement plan across many areas that are not heavily affected by the floods. The public exhibition period has been extended to allow stakeholders additional time to comment on the proposed changes outlined in the draft replacement water sharing plan. The public exhibition will now close 21 August 2022.

3. Limiting changes where communities are heavily flood impacted

The department has undertaken an assessment of the potential effect of the proposed changes to the water sharing rules in flood affected areas across the Greater Metropolitan region. Based on that assessment the replacement plan will only include limited changes in the Hawkesbury Nepean Extraction Management Unit and the Nattai River, Stonequarry Creek and Maldon Weir Water Sources in the Upper Nepean and Upstream Warragamba Extraction Management Unit.

Any rules relating to people’s access to water, including rules relating to boundary changes and trade will stay the same as they are at present. With the intent of the rules set out in the current 2011 water sharing plan maintained in the 2023 replacement plan.

An amendment clause will be included in the replacement plan that allows these boundary changes, access and trade rules to be introduced in the future, during the life of the replacement water sharing plan. These changes will be consulted on when it is appropriate to engage with flood effected communities.

We hope the community is staying safe in these difficult times.

If you are flood-affected

The NSW Government provides financial relief and support following a natural disaster. You can find out more by using the Disaster Assistance Finder – an online questionnaire that will provide a personalised list of available programs and services.

You can find more information on the Service NSW website about the range of support available to disaster-affected communities.

The water sharing plan establishes rules for water management including the limit of the total volume of water that can be extracted from the unregulated water sources in the Greater Metropolitan region.

Water sharing plans are subject to review every 10 years under the Water Management Act 2000. The current 2011 water sharing plan for the Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Water Sources is nearing expiry and a draft replacement plan has been prepared

The community consultation period provides opportunities for water users, stakeholders and other interested parties to learn more about the proposed changes in the draft replacement plan, and to make a submission and comment on the draft.

Feedback and issues raised during the public exhibition phase will be considered when finalising the plan.

The replacement plan must commence by Friday, 1 July 2023.

Stakeholders can:

If you require assistance reading these documents, please contact 1300 081 047 or water.enquiries@dpie.nsw.gov.au.

Public exhibition of the draft replacement Water Sharing Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Water Sources 2023 will run from Monday, 27 June to Sunday, 21 August 2022. This period has been extended to allow for effective and appropriate consultation across the many areas in the region that are not heavily effected by the flooding.

If you are in an area heavily effected by floods (including all water sources in the Hawkesbury and Lower Nepean Rivers Extraction Management Unit and the Nattai River, Stonequarry Creek and Maldon Weir Water Sources in the Upper Nepean and Upstream Warragamba Extraction Management Unit) then we will come back and talk to you later about rules relating to boundary changes, access and trade.

The replacement plan will retain the intent of these rules in the current 2011 water sharing plan and include amendment clauses to allow for boundary changes, access and trade rule changes to be introduced in the future, during the life of the replacement plan. These changes will be consulted on when it is appropriate to engage with flood effected communities.

Recorded presentations

These recorded presentations outline the proposed water sharing changes in each Extraction Management Unit.

The Upper Nepean and Upstream Warragamba presentation has not been amended to reflect the approach to limit change in areas heavily affected by flooding and contains all proposed changes. A presentation has not been provided for the Hawkesbury and Lower Nepean Rivers Extraction Management Unit as the rules in this area will be largely retained. The Department will consult on any proposed changes when it is appropriate to engage with flood effected communities.

Additional presentations on the rollout of the NSW Non-Urban Water Metering Framework and the Aboriginal Water Strategy have also been provided

Public information sessions

Public information sessions in Lithgow, Katoomba, Parramatta and Wollongong have been rescheduled, see the table below for new location and times. Session in Camden, Penrith and Windsor have been cancelled as it is not appropriate to engage with stakeholders in these areas at this time. We will come back and talk to these communities later.

The department continues to engage with the community through a number of channels to progress the replacement plan, including:

  • Webinars - Watching the recorded webinar held in June or participate with live questions in the next webinar in August.
  • Drop-in Information sessions - The community is invited to 'drop-in' at any time over a four-hour period to discuss the draft water sharing plans with department staff, share local knowledge and provide feedback as part the community consultation process. These drop-in sessions aim to give our stakeholders individual access to staff members, data and information, to assist with their understanding of the draft water sharing plan.

Please note: Due to current COVID-19 restrictions and health and safety concerns, public information sessions will require registration for attendance.

LocationDescription Register for event
Webinar – Surface Water Tuesday, 28 June 2022
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Watch the recorded webinar
Sydney city Thursday, 30 June 2022
231 Elizabeth Street,
Sydney CBD
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Goulburn Information session
Tuesday, 19 July 2022
Goulburn Soldiers Club
15 Market Street, Goulburn
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Bowral Information session
Wednesday, 20 July 2022
Bowral Bowling Club,
40 Shepherd Street, Bowral
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Camden Information session Session cancelled due to recent flooding
Windsor Information session Session cancelled due to recent flooding
Braidwood Information session
Tuesday, 26 July 2022
Braidwood Servicemens Club,
Coronation Avenue, Braidwood
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Nowra Information session
Wednesday, 27 July 2022
Nowra Golf Club
85 Fairway Drive, Nowra North
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Kangaroo Valley Information session
Thursday, 28 July 2022
Kangaroo Valley Showground,
179 Moss Vale Rd, Kangaroo Valley
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Wollongong Information session
Friday, 29 July 2022
WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres,
Corner of Crown and Harbour Street, Wollongong
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Lithgow Information session
Tuesday, 2 August 2022
Lithgow Workies Club,
3-7 Tank Street, Lithgow
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Katoomba Information session
Wednesday, 3 August 2022
Katoomba RSL,
86 Lurline Street, Katoomba
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Penrith Information sessionSession cancelled due to recent flooding
Parramatta Information Session
Friday, 5 August 2022
4 Parramatta Square
Darcy and Macquarie Streets, Parramatta
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Session has concluded
Webinar Information session
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm 
Watch the recorded webinar

Make a submission

If you would like to make an online submission please click on the 'Have your say' button below.

Have your say

Alternatively, you can download the submission form (PDF, 245.77 KB) and return it to us by either email GreaterMetroUnreg.WSP@dpie.nsw.gov.au, or post to:

Department of Planning and Environment – Water
Greater Metropolitan Surface Water WSP
Locked Bag 5022, PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

Privacy

We respect your right to privacy. Before lodging your submission you will be asked to confirm that you have read our privacy statement. If you wish to maintain your privacy in this submission process you must:

  • request your name be withheld from the list of submitters by ticking the relevant box in the submission form
  • not include any of your personal information in your submission or attachments.

When you make a submission we will publish:

  • the content of your submission and any attachments, including any personal information about you which you have chosen to include in those documents
  • a list of submitters, which will include your name (unless you request your name be withheld from the list by ticking the relevant box below) and your suburb or town.