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Plans and

NSW Groundwater Strategy

In a first for NSW, a long-term strategy is being developed to better protect and share the state’s vital groundwater resources.

Public exhibition closed

The draft NSW Groundwater Strategy was on public exhibition from Tuesday, 5 July until Sunday, 14 August 2022.

All submissions are currently being reviewed and feedback on the strategy is informing the finalisation of strategy documents.

A summary of feedback received and a copy of respondent submissions (for those respondents that have provided permission) will be published on this website later in the year.

Thank you to those who have made a submission.

The draft NSW Groundwater Strategy will deliver on a key priority of the NSW Water Strategy by providing an enhanced, state-wide focus on sustainable groundwater management for the next 20 years.

Our groundwater resources are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to changing climate conditions, population growth and increased land use. A long-term direction – harnessing the latest science available – is needed to make sure the way we manage groundwater continues to evolve to tackle the critical challenges it faces now and in the future.

NSW’s groundwater at a glance

NSW Groundwater Strategy Snapshot

Download a high resolution version of the NSW Groundwater Strategy Snapshot (JPG, 1296.64 KB).

Draft NSW Groundwater Strategy and guides

NSW has a robust, world-leading approach to managing our groundwater resources. While this approach has served us well, the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy aims to build on and improve the way groundwater resources are managed and used in NSW over the next 2 decades.

Since 2021, the draft strategy has been developed via an evidence-based, whole-of-government process with the technical input of an external advisory panel of world-class experts.

It identifies the main challenges confronting the state’s groundwater resources and the modern-day issues driving the need for our groundwater management approach to evolve and deliver long-term groundwater sustainability for NSW.

Three strategic priorities (with 12 linked actions) underpin the department’s response to these challenges and issues – providing a blueprint for devising and delivering initiatives that will protect and future-proof our groundwater resources.

Draft groundwater water strategy

Download the Draft NSW Groundwater Strategy (PDF, 18083.88 KB)

Two companion information guides accompany the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy, providing relevant background information on our groundwater resources and how we manage them:

Public information sessions

Two online public webinars were held in July 2022 to provide an overview of the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy. Each webinar included a question-and-answer session.

Watch the recorded webinar

Thursday, 28 July 2022
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Next steps

We are working with communities across the state to prepare and finalise the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy. Following public consultation, we will develop an implementation plan that will set out when we plan to commence each action and what we plan to achieve by when. The implementation plan will also identify key partners in effectively delivering these actions, including local councils, other government agencies, local community groups and local Aboriginal communities.

Not all actions will be commenced at once, and funding will be a key consideration in planning when and how the actions will be implemented. The NSW Groundwater Strategy will be a key tool in securing funding as future opportunities arise.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy or would like more information, please email nsw.groundwaterstrategy