How and why we track surface water extraction
The amount of surface water that can be extracted from a surface water source is limited. While the amount extracted by all water users varies each year, on average it cannot exceed the extraction limits. All NSW water sharing plans include long-term average annual extraction limits (LTAAEL). In the Murray Darling Basin, Water Sharing Plans will also include the relevant Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) as set by the Basin Plan.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is responsible for checking LTAAEL compliance. For SDL compliance, NSW prepares and submits a self- assessment of compliance. SDL compliance assessment has been reviewed and published by MDBA, however; the compliance assessment responsibility has now been transferred to the Inspector-General Water Compliance which was formally established on 5 August 2021.