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NSW Office of Water

Environmental water register




This register has been established by the NSW Office of Water according to the requirements under the National
Water Initiative (NWI) to provide information for water users and the general public that can be widely and
simply accessed.


Other information related to water licences, approvals, water trading, and water dealings can be found using the NSW Water Register.


The Water Management Act 2000 (section 8) defines environmental water as comprising:


  • water that is committed by management plans for fundamental ecosystem health or other specified
    environmental purposes, either generally or at specified times or in specified circumstances, and
    that cannot to the extent committed be taken or used for any other purpose (planned environmental water).
  • water (licensed environmental water) that is:
    • committed by an adaptive environmental water condition
    • taken or permitted to be taken under a licence of an environmental subcategory; or
    • taken or permitted to be taken under a licence of a class prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of section 8.

In addition to environmental water defined under section 8, NOW recognises that a significant number of water access licences are purchased
and/or held for an environmental purpose. This type of licensed environmental water is described in this Register as having a ‘non-statutory’
environmental purpose. A licence is classified as having a ‘non-statutory’ environmental purpose by agreement between NOW and the holder of
the respective licence.


This register provides a record of:

  • Licensed environmental water;
  • Environmental water set aside as ‘rules’ in water sharing plans;
  • Environmental Water Use Plans approved by the Minister.

The register also provides reports on:

  • the assignment of water allocations to and from AEW access licences; and
  • changes in the share component of AEW access licences over time.

While most water access licences can be used for an environmental purpose in accordance with a water use approval.
This register only identifies licences with an adaptive environmental water condition.

The initial development of this register was supported by funding from the Commonwealth Government Raising National Water
Standards Program.


Disclaimer: The NSW Office of Water does not warrant the data is current nor does it warrant that the data or the data
capturing processes are free from corruption or error.