How do I get a licence for irrigation?

A water licence can be obtained from WaterNSW.

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.

The type of licence required depends on whether the water comes from a source governed by a water-sharing plan. Water-sharing plans have rules for sharing water between environmental needs and the users. Irrigation in such cases requires a 'continuing' water access licence.

Find out more about licences.


In some water sources new water licences may still be granted. However, in other areas there is an embargo in place, particularly on water licences for irrigation and industry. In these areas you can only obtain licences for specific exempt purposes (such as town water, stock and domestic supply, drought relief, etc.).

Water trades

In some areas you may be able to purchase and transfer a licensed entitlement from an existing licence holder. For more information, refer to Water Management Act 2000 and Water Act 1912 information on the WaterNSW website.


For more information about irrigation and water licences, contact WaterNSW.
By phone: 1300 662 077
By email: