Apply for a new water licence or additional entitlement

The department is responsible for processing and determining applications for new water access licences and entitlement by local water utilities.

The Water Utilities branch of the Department of Planning and Environment provides technical advice to Licensing and Approvals to inform its decision.

Applying for a new water access licence with the category ‘local water utility’ or subcategory ‘town water supply’

To apply for a new water special purpose access licence with the category ‘local water utility’ or subcategory ‘town water supply’ or ‘domestic and commercial’, complete the steps below.

1. Before you submit a licence application

Contact Licensing and approvals about making an application for the licence.

You can contact the Water Utilities branch about information requirements and assessments relating to demonstrating the strategic need for a special purpose access licence. Let Licensing and Approvals know if you have already contacted the Water Utilities branch.

2. Submit your completed licence application form to the department

See: How to apply for a water access licence.

Make sure you include all the information requested by Licensing and approvals.

Failure to include the requested information may delay the department’s determination of your application, or the department may refuse to grant the water access licence.

3. Register your new water access licence

If the department grants the water access licence, contact NSW Land Registry Services (LRS) to record your new water access licence on the Water Access Licence Register so the licence takes effect.

You have six months to register your new licence from the day the department notifies you that the licence has been granted. The department will provide instructions on how to contact LRS.

4. Nominate a water supply work 

Contact WaterNSW to make an application to nominate a water supply work on your registered water access licence. You can only take water under the licence using an approved nominated water supply work unless an exemption applies. This is required even if a water supply work approval is not required.

Constructing and using a water supply work must also be authorised by a water supply work approval (see below) unless an exemption applies. Water supply works are the infrastructure used to take water from a water source. Examples of water supply works are water pumps, water bores, dams, weirs and levees.

To nominate a water supply work, fill out this form and return to WaterNSW using the details on the application form:

5. Apply for a water supply work and/or use approval

A water supply work approval and water use approval are required unless exemptions apply.

Water supply work approvals allow you to construct and use a nominated water supply work which takes water from a river, lake or aquifer.

Water use approvals allow you to use water on your land for a certain purpose, for example, for irrigation, town water supply, power generation and mining.

The department provides licences and approvals for many larger commercial and all government entities. For information on how to apply for a water supply works and/or use approval and exemptions that apply, go to approvals.

Licence and additional entitlement application contacts

To apply for additional water entitlement under 66(4) of the Water Management Act 2000, contact the Licensing and Approvals team. You may contact the Water Utilities Branch of the Department of Planning and Environment to check what information you need to provide to demonstrate the strategic need for additional water entitlement. Complete our online form or phone 1300 081 047.

Complete the form

To contact DPE Water about submitting your application, email or phone 1800 633 362.

To contact WaterNSW about nominating a water supply work, email or phone 1300 662 077.