Water resources and providers
NSW Department of Planning and Environment–Water has information on water security and managing NSW water resources, including surface and groundwater management. It also ensures equitable sharing of surface and groundwater resources and secure and tradeable water entitlements and allocations.
Water NSW maintains and operates the assets that supply water to customers and communities and manages the system through floods and drought. It is a state-owned corporation established under the Water NSW Act 2014 and operates under an Operating Licence. They supply two-thirds of water used in New South Wales.
Sydney Water is Australia’s largest water utility, providing water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services to all of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.
See the federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water for information on Australia's plan for urban water and desalination.
The Sydney Desalination Plant at Kurnell is one of the largest operating desalination plants in the world. It sources its water from the Tasman sea. The plant is operational when dam levels fall below specified thresholds.
The Department of Planning and Environment’s Beachwatch program monitors and reports on water quality at swimming spots to help you decide where and when to swim:
There is further water quality information available through other government agencies and organisations.
WaterNSW operates a wide range of water monitoring programs to measure both water quality and quantity in all rivers, streams, groundwater bores and the dams that we operate across New South Wales. WaterNSW is also responsible for the management of blue-green algal blooms in the river systems and storages that they manage.
Waterwatch is a national citizen science program, involving landholders, community groups and schools, and aims to engage communities in monitoring and protecting the health of local waterways.
Irrigation for commercial purposes
A licence is required to extract water from rivers or aquifers for commercial purposes, such as farm irrigation, but not to harvest rainfall, such as in a small dam.
For more information about irrigation and water licences, go to:
Or contact them at: