A NSW Government website

Projects and programs

Aboriginal Water Programs

Recognising Aboriginal peoples’ rights, value, access to and ownership of water for the benefit of Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal water programs

About the Aboriginal Water Program

Healthy waterways are critical to the culture and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities across NSW. Water provides food, kinship, connection, recreation, stories, songlines and healing.

The department is working to secure a future where water for Aboriginal people is embedded in water planning and management in NSW to improve access to, and ownership of, water for cultural, spiritual, social, environmental and economic benefit to Aboriginal communities.

NSW Aboriginal Water Strategy

The Aboriginal Water Strategy developed with Aboriginal communities will ensure access to water resources for Aboriginal people.

Bellinger River, Mid North Coast in NSW. Image courtesy of Nathan Peckham.

Regional Aboriginal Water Committees

Committees for Aboriginal people across NSW to provide advice on water planning and management.

Aboriginal artwork by

NSW Water Strategy Priority 2

Recognise Aboriginal people’s rights and values and increase access to and ownership of water for cultural and economic purposes.

Sandy beach by Macquarie River, Dubbo. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Yarning with communities on water management

Engaging with Aboriginal people as a commitment to improving cultural, economic, and social outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Looking over the main weir at Menindee, February 2023. Image courtesy of Jason King.

Cultural Watering Plans

Cultural Watering Plans provide the information and data required to improve policies to achieve Aboriginal community aspirations.

Cultural watering plans

Cultural water access for Aboriginal people

Access to water empowers Aboriginal people’s spiritual, cultural, environmental and social connections.


For any enquiries please contact the Aboriginal Water Programs Team: Aboriginalwater.enquiries@dpie.nsw.gov.au

About the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program

Namatjira water tank.

The Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of residents of 63 eligible Aboriginal communities across the state by providing safe and effective water and sewerage services.

For more information on the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program contact acwsp@dpie.nsw.gov.au