A NSW Government website

Water resource plans

Updates and engagement

Find the latest information about the water resources plans and the status of their accreditation as well as updates on stakeholder engagement.


The current status of NSW surface water resource plans is detailed below:

Water resource plansCommentProposed resubmission
Gwydir Surface WaterAnticipated resubmission following further work.December 2024
Namoi Surface WaterAnticipated resubmission following further work.December 2024
Namoi AlluviumAnticipated resubmission following further work.December 2024
Gwydir AlluviumAnticipated resubmission following further work.December 2024


Consultation with First Nations

The department will be progressing further consultation with First Nations. This recognises a commitment within the NSW Water Resource Plans for follow up consultation.

The approach and roll out of this engagement will be further discussed with peak First Nation groups however it is anticipated that the engagement will initially focus on accredited groundwater water resource plan areas. This includes the Border Rivers, NSW Murray-Darling Basin Fractured Rock, NSW Murray-Darling Basin Porous Rock, Macquarie and Darling.

The Border Rivers will be the first plan area covered from September 2023. The consultation will be rolled out to the further plan areas in later 2023 and into 2024. A guide to Traditional Owner Groups of Groundwater Resource Plan Areas is available on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority website.

First Nations may be covered in one or more plan areas. In consulting with individual Nations, the consultation will cover all applicable groundwater water resource plan areas to avoid repetition and consultation fatigue.

Through undertaking consultation in these accredited plan areas, the consultation will cover all groundwater water resource plan areas with the addition of a small number of meetings.

While focused on groundwater the consultation will not preclude any discussion of surface water for the surface water resource plans (noting surface water resource plans are pending finalisation for accreditation).

The initial consultation approach is being undertaken ahead of the introduction of an ongoing engagement approach being delivered through the department’s Aboriginal Water Program over the longer term. The initial consultation approach may eventually be replaced by the ongoing engagement led by the Aboriginal Water Program.

The intent of the consultation is to look at previous information provided for water resource planning, how this was used in the plans, consider the feedback provided and potential gaps, consider new information and how it can be used to amend water resource plans in the future.

We acknowledge that many issues raised by First Nations may not be able to be addressed within Water Resource Plans and that the broader work of the department may need to consider how these are addressed.

Community consultation

Public consultation on draft plans was held from late 2018 and throughout 2019, with 55 public meetings across 39 locations in the Basin attended by more than 1,600 people. We received 710 written submissions, and have published a summary of these for each water resource plan area.

A community consultation–what we heard report captured the key areas of feedback. Find out how these issues are being addressed below.


Issues raised in relation to the Murray Lower Darling Water Sharing Plan led to the department publishing a supplementary report to provide additional information specific to the NSW Murray Regulated River Water Source in response to issues raised at the Murray–Lower Darling stakeholder advisory panel meetings of March and April 2020 as well as by water user groups.