Environmental issues



The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has a responsibility to help protect NSW rivers, beaches, wetlands, groundwater systems, estuaries and other marine environments and the plants and animals that live in these habitats. OEH also manages protected wetlands and wild rivers, purchases water for the benefit of targeted wetlands and river systems, educates stakeholders and advocates for protection of these environments.

Find out more on this website about the following water topics:

  • river and marine water quality advice for catchment managers
  • stormwater advice for managers
  • Beachwatch monitoring and reporting on the condition and health of ocean beaches and coastal waterways and State of the Environment reporting (every three years)
  • advice on water pollution and treatment
  • conservation of wetlands and management advice and support for other wetlands
  • providing water for the environment - as the state's environmental water holder, OEH manages a portfolio of environmental water licences, purchases and trades water entitlements, manages infrastructure improvement projects, and develops policy and planning instruments to secure the health of our wetlands and rivers for future generations
  • coastal zone and floodplain management to help communities reduce threats from flooding and storms and ensure better preparation for climate change
  • the community-based Waterwatch program which monitors the health of NSW waterways.

The NSW Office of Water (NOW) is responsible for managing access to water and ensuring water is shared between the environment, towns and cities, and farmers and industry as well as for Aboriginal cultural activities. NOW also looks after water licensing, extraction and allocation.

Water conservation is encouraged through education and grant schemes run by the Urban Sustainability Trust and NSW Environmental Trust. The NSW Government website Water for Life also contains useful information about reducing demand and conserving our limited supplies.

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Page last updated: 17 September 2014