Questions and answers from October's webinar

The following are questions by topic asked from the registration and during the Water Engagement Roundup webinar recorded on 15 September 2021.

Stakeholder engagement

Q. Would it be possible to get a copy of the webinar and PowerPoint presentation?

A. Yes, all questions and answers are emailed to participants following the webinar session and published on the Water Engagement Roundup page.

Q. How would I get a job working in NSW? (I am Moroccan).

A. Detailed information on how to obtain a visa to work in NSW can be found at

Bore works

Q. Can you provide information on drilling a bore and the license required?

A. Applying for a license to construct a bore can be found on the WaterNSW website at

Water sharing plan

Q. Could you please clarify where a water sharing plan is under review or is incomplete what are the provisions that apply?

A. While a water sharing plan is under review the current plan remains in force. Links to the current water sharing plans can be found on our website, please visit Water sharing plans status.

General information on the water sharing plan review process, including the schedule of review is available on our website, please visit Review process.


Q. Will we be talking about how overland flows are allocated, and what, if any impact of the current FPH (Flood Plain Harvesting) review is on allocations for this class of entitlement for the current year.

A. The NSW Government is trying to bring the flood plain harvesting take of water into the regulatory system and licensing framework so it can be measured and managed.

There are currently no classes of flood plain harvesting entitlement.

Water sharing plan rules for floodplain harvesting can be found on our website, please visit Water sharing plan rules.

Overland flow is unregulated water. Unregulated water can be taken under license from waterways, subject to flow thresholds being met. That is, low flows mean that little to no take is allowed, while high flows means more take is allowed. Take is, therefore, ‘event’ based and opportunistic. This has only limited bearing on the allocation of water in regulated systems where water is ordered and delivered from headwater storages when needed.

Q. With a number of the southern storages full or spilling and Menindee lakes also full, why has NSW Murray only received 110% and Murrumbidgee 63%.

A. To manage the variability of water available each year in a river system, water is allocated to users in accordance with the rules set out in the relevant water sharing plan and based on the water available, and forecast to be available, in the water source. This process of making an allocation is known as an Available Water Determination (AWD).

These allocations are dependent on a range of factors outlined on our website, please visit How water is allocated - Water in New South Wales (

Q. How does the allocation process consider end of system flow rules & need for flows to enter downstream connectivity.

End of system flows are prescribed in many Water sharing plans - Water in New South Wales (, and are considered an environmental water delivery target. They aim to provide flow connectivity with the next downstream watercourse as a minimum. The water needed to maintain this commitment is set aside as a priority in the resource assessment. However, when resources start to deplete as systems dry, and storages reach low levels, there can be insufficient water to reach the end of the system without putting critical needs at risk. Therefore, during severe dry periods, regulated river systems can be reduced in length (end of system flow rules suspended) as a drought contingency strategy to protect critical human water needs. For more information please visit River management - Water in New South Wales (

Water resource plans

Q. What is the timeframe for accreditation of the water resource plan? how many are under review/ which ones accredited?

A. The department is working through feedback from MDBA (Murray Darling Basin Authority) on the 20 NSW water resource plans (WRPs). The WRPs will be resubmitted to the MDBA for assessment in the coming months.

Water Resource Plans status and next steps can be on our website, please visit Water resource plans.

Floodplain harvesting

Q.  Why has it taken 21 years and flood plain harvesting still not sorted out Guy Gaeta (on notice)

A. The Water Management Act 2000 No 92 - NSW Legislation (The Act) requires that water take be done in accordance with an applicable access licence and works approval.

Since introduction of the Act, the NSW Government has been progressively bringing water take in line with these requirements through the development and implementation of water sharing plans.

Prioritisation of water sharing plan areas and forms of water take within is risk-based, including considerations such as volume of water taken and level of environmental, community and economic impact.

Water sharing plans and their provisions are adaptable to changes in policy positions and increased hydrologic information.

Floodplain harvesting is complex and has required a significant investment by the NSW Government to update river system models to better account for this form of water take.

The NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy was endorsed by Cabinet in 2013 and was later amended in 2018.

Implementation of the policy, which aims to regulate floodplain harvesting through the introduction of licensing, has generated considerable community interest and much welcomed debate. The department has undertaken additional data analysis and modelling to ensure we have considered issues raised from all points of view.

The disallowed enabling regulations in May 2021 and the resulting inquiry by the Select Committee on Floodplain Harvesting have further delayed full policy implementation and retained regulatory uncertainty.