A NSW Government website

Greater Sydney Water Strategy

Our priorities and implementation plan

Discover the strategy’s priorities and how they will be implemented.

Waterfall and pool at Aboriginal cultural site - Manly Vale-Gayamaygal NSW.

Our vision

To support a thriving, sustainable and resilient Greater Sydney.

What we need to achieve

We need to respond to the water challenges facing our city in a way that reflects the lessons we’ve learned during recent droughts. Water is essential to support a growing city and a prosperous economy and demand is increasing. However, Greater Sydney is primarily reliant on rainwater runoff captured in dams for its water supply and has limited rainfall-independent supplies, making it vulnerable to drought. Combined with the risks posed by some parts of the supply network only having a single source and being isolated from other parts of the network, along with ageing assets, this means we need to take new approaches. As well as responding to the challenges of growth and improving resilience to extreme events, we must also rise to the challenges of making Greater Sydney greener and cooler as it continues to grow – and improving the health of our waterways and ecosystems by managing land and water resources in a more integrated way.

Implementing the Greater Sydney Water Strategy

The Greater Sydney Water Strategy charts the long-term vision and direction for delivering sustainable and resilient water services to Greater Sydney, including the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains, for the next 20-40 years.

The implementation plan outlines how we will deliver the Greater Sydney Water Strategy over the short term ‒ that is, the next 3 financial years from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025. This time horizon aligns with the price determination period set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and therefore provides clarity about the forward workplan and funding available to Sydney Water and WaterNSW, and in some cases the department.

The plan has assigned actions to progress the delivery of all five of the Greater Sydney Water Strategy’s priorities. It also outlines the lead agencies and delivery partners that will work collaboratively to deliver actions.

As the Greater Sydney Water Strategy will be delivered over 20-40 years, future actions will be reported in subsequent annual implementation plans as funding is secured and delivery partners identified.


The NSW Government has developed the Greater Sydney Water Strategy, which charts a direction for delivering sustainable and resilient water services to Greater Sydney for the next 20 to 40 years. The strategy sets out priorities for the delivery of water, wastewater, recycled water and stormwater services into the future in a way that is integrated with land use planning:

Priority 1

We understand how much water we need and when.

Water spraying from a hand-held hose.

Priority 2

Our water systems are sustainable for the long term and resilient to extreme events.

Floodwater flowing rapidly.

Priority 3

Our city is green and liveable.

Suburban houses surrounded by green parks and trees. Canterbury, NSW.

Priority 4

Our waterways and landscapes are healthy.

Aboriginal cultural site in Manly Vale-Gayamaygal NSW.  Image couresty of Yvonne Kaiser-Glass

Priority 5

Water management and services meet community needs.

Water spilling from a Warragamba Dam, NSW/