Questions and answers from July's webinar

The following are questions by topic asked from the registration and during the Water Engagement Roundup webinar recorded on 21 July 2021.

Stakeholder engagement

Q. Will you be circulating the information on the live chat bar from today's engagement roundup after this session?

A. Yes. Everyone who registered for the engagement roundup session will receive and email within the next few days that will include a link to a video of the presentation, with captions.

For a recording of each Water Engagement Roundup webinar, questions and answers, and registration details for future events visit stay up-to-date.

The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) Acceleration Program

Q. Locals are hearing that the NSW Murray constraints Management to implement the Basin Plan SDLAM is to commence soon however no-one who was previously involved in this project has been contacted or heard anything. Can you tell us who we should contact about this?

A.  For information on the renamed Reconnecting River Country Program (formerly Constraints Measures Program), and frequently asked questions, visit:

Website: Social Pinpoint | Reconnecting River Country Program (
Phone: 1300 795 299

Coastal Harvestable Rights

Q. Update on coastal harvestable rights.

A. The department is currently analysing survey responses, written submissions and other feedback recorded throughout the consultation, and will produce a ‘What we heard report'. Recommendations will be made to the Minister for Water, Property and Housing on whether to increase harvestable rights, or if further studies are required.

Public consultation and targeted Aboriginal consultation has now closed.

There was strong interest in the review from a wide range of stakeholders during consultation.

The department received a wealth of information through 51 written submissions, 136 survey responses and over 30 face-to-face and virtual discussions.

The review team would like to thank everyone involved for their input so far and would like to invite anyone who is not already on our mailing list to join by emailing

Landholder rights

Q. Can the Basic Landholder Rights video be made a priority?

A. An animated video on basic landholder rights is currently being prepared by the department and is due for completion by the end of September 2021.

All animated videos are available at Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - YouTube™

Local Water Utilities

Q. About $280 million went into emergency drought measures for town water in NSW. Some of these measures involved emergency bores with licences applied for under Section 39A. Can NRAR present in the future on transitioning these 39A licences into permanent entitlements for Local Water Utilities.

A.  For details on the license visit  Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 - NSW Legislation.

Moree region

Q. What upcoming or current projects are based around Moree?

A. Responsibility for the proposed Mole River Dam project, near Moree, has recently transitioned across from WaterNSW to the department’s Water infrastructure NSW division group. For more information visit Mole River Dam project.


Q. There have been reports in the press that one of the reasons for many users not yet being compliant with the water metering rules is because of a lack of availability of meters from suppliers. What is NRARs view on the validity of this?

A. The NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is currently undertaking several compliance campaigns in relation to metering. The metering rules are being rolled out in four stages across NSW. The first stage required 500mm pumps to be in place by 1 December 2020. NRAR has been out inspecting properties, access, or approvals that are required to have the metering installed. The team is looking to make sure that water users have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the rules. NRAR has received information that some water users cannot get metres. NRAR is currently investigating this information.

For more information visit NSW non-urban water metering framework.

Q. If a pump that is installed is smaller than the works approval pump size, is this a problem?

A. The requirements around metering are set out in the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018, including access to meters. NRAR expects all water users to be in compliance with the metering laws that apply to them and that the works on the ground accurately reflect what the approval states.

Information about what is compliant and how to engage a Duly Qualified Person to ensure compliance can be found at metering.

To access your current licences and approvals, and to make changes or update your details go the WaterNSW Website.


Q. Could you please provide an overview of the role of NRAR, and where it fits in the water management hierarchy in NSW.

A. The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is an independent regulator established under the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017.

NRAR is responsible for enforcing natural resources management legislation, which currently includes the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017, the Water Management Act 2000, the Water Act 1912, and associated regulations. Our current focus is enforcing water management laws.

NRAR is responsible for detecting, preventing and stopping illegal water activities relating to areas such as water acquisition and use, environmental concerns such as water runoff, and the safety of infrastructure.

We also approve and regulate works on waterfront land and manage water licences and approvals of larger entities.

Read NRAR’s progress reports.

Q. How many board members does NRAR have and how many of those members are Aboriginal?

A.  NRAR has an independent board responsible for decisions about its compliance and enforcement functions. The board started work in late 2017 on the formation and strategic direction of NRAR.

The NRAR board has four members, appointed by the NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey.

Phil Duncan is a board member and has worked extensively with Indigenous people and government to improve the lives of First Nations people.

For more information visit NRAR's board members.

Q. Does NRAR consider buried underground meters to be compliant?

A. The requirements around metering are set out in the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018, including access to meters. NRAR expects all water users to be in compliance with the metering laws that apply to them.

For more information about what is compliant and how to engage a Duly Qualified Person to ensure compliance visit metering.

Q. Is the Know the rules NRAR video publicly available?

A. Yes, it is. The Natural Resources Access Regulator’s (NRAR) Know the Rules campaign is focused on helping water users understand how they can access and use water, while following the rules of the Water Management Act 2000 and other relevant legislation.

Visit NRAR’s Know the Rules campaign | NSW Dept of Natural Resources Access Regulator to view the video.

Floodplain harvesting

Q. Is there likely to be any more consultation on Floodplain harvesting?

A. Due to the disallowance of the amendments to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 that relate to floodplain harvesting, implementation dates for the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy are uncertain. To address the disallowance, the NSW Legislative Council has established the Select Committee on Floodplain Harvesting that will inquire and report upon the NSW Government’s work in this area. The Select Committee's report is due 30 November 2021.

Until the report is finalised and the NSW Government determines the next steps for policy implementation, much of the department’s community consultation is suspended, including consultation on draft floodplain harvesting rules. Despite this, the department continues to work with eligible landholders to determine water supply work approvals in preparation for licensing. In addition, communication is proceeding with interested stakeholder groups on the status of the floodplain harvesting reform.

Water sharing plans

Q. What is the timing of the recently completed open comment period on Far West WSP review?

A. We have commenced work on the remake of this water sharing plan which is due for replacement in 2022. Public consultation will be a part of the replacement.

Barwon, Darling and West region - Water in New South Wales (

Q. Where is the Murray Regulated River WSP up to?

A. The 2012 regulated Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray and Lower Darling is currently in force and available online.

The department is aiming to replace this plan, in line with what was submitted to MDBA (Murray Darling Basin Authority) as part of the development of the water resource plans. The plan needs to be replaced before the water resource plan can be accredited.

Water management

Q. Do you have a chart of the new divisions responsible for water management as they keep changing?

A. The role of water management agencies in NSW can be found in this brochure.