A NSW Government website


What is water supply work approval

Find out whether your works or water use require an approval, and if so, where to apply.

Under the bridge, Tweed River.

Water supply work approvals allow you to construct and use a work which takes water from a river, lake or aquifer.

Water supply works include pumps, bores, dams, weirs, irrigation channels, banks and levees.

Approval is needed for these works to ensure they don’t harm water sources or the animals and plants dependent on them. Approvals also ensure the works don’t affect access to water by other water users.

Do you need to install a meter?

Does your water supply work need a meter on it? What sort of meter do you need? Find out in the NSW non-urban water metering framework which has full details on metering requirements.

What is a water use approval?

Water use approvals allow you to use water on your land. Irrigation, town water supply, power generation and mining are examples of water use which require water use approvals.

Do you need to install a meter


For some entities, water supply works and water uses are exempt from needing approvals. Find out which under Exemptions in the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018.

Where do you apply for water supply work or water use approvals?

Licences and approvals for private rural landholders and rural industries are issued by WaterNSW. The department provides licences and approvals for many larger commercial and all government entities. Find out who we cover and how to apply below.

How to apply for a water supply work and water use approval

Application forms and guides to apply for a new approval or existing approval.

Water licensing and works approvals exemptions

Learn more on exemptions, and when you won’t need to apply for water licence or work approvals.

Tweed River.

Emergency works exemption

An emergency works exemption is available under the Water Management General Regulation 2018 (the regulation) from 26 February 2021.

Emergency works exemptions