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.

Update

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

Water resource plansCommentProposed resubmission
NSW Border RiversMinor changes were required to address MDBA comments for accreditation.

This was proposed for June 2023 but carried into August 2023 due to further updates. The plan has now been formally resubmitted.
Complete - August 2023
LachlanMinor cross- referencing errors in the Water Sharing Plan for the Belubula Regulated River Water Source 2012 identified by the MDBA as relating to accreditation. Additionally, minor changes have also been identified for the Water Sharing Plan for the Lachlan Regulated River Water Source 2016. Amendments to address these errors have commenced.

Minor subsequent changes were also identified in the WRP and have been addressed.

This was proposed for June 2023 but has carried into August 2023 due to further updates. The plan has now been formally resubmitted.
Complete -August 2023
GwydirAnticipated resubmission following further work. This was proposed for July 2023 but has carried forward due to the work required.TBC
Macquarie-CastlereaghMinor cross- referencing errors in the Water Sharing Plan for the Macquarie Bogan Regulated River Water Source Plan 2016 and Macquarie Castlereagh Unregulated River Water Sources  2012 identified by the MBDA as relating to accreditation. Amendments to address these errors have commenced.

WRP submitted without inclusion of the floodplain harvesting framework. The release of floodplain harvesting entitlement in March 2023 means that the WRP was withdrawn and when formally resubmitted has included the floodplain harvesting framework.

MDBA feedback on updated documents for accreditation was provided in late July and has been addressed.

Anticipated resubmission was proposed for August 2023 but carried into October 2023 due to further checks and updates. This plan has now been resubmitted.
Complete -October 2023
NSW Murray and Lower DarlingMinor cross- referencing errors in the Water Sharing Plan for the Lower Murray Darling Unregulated River Water Sources 2012 identified by the MBDA as relating to accreditation. Amendments to address this have commenced.

Minor changes required to WRP to address MDBA comments for accreditation.
MDBA feedback on updated documents was provided in early July and has been addressed.

The plan has now been formally resubmitted.
Complete -August 2023
Barwon-DarlingWRP submitted without inclusion of the floodplain harvesting framework. The amendment of the WSP in February 2023 and release of floodplain harvesting entitlement in April 2023 means that the WRP was withdrawn and resubmitted to include the floodplain harvesting framework.

Further feedback has been received and addressed on non-modelling related content. Updates post review of updated model and related documentation have also been completed.

This plan has now been resubmitted.
Complete -
December 2023 
NamoiAmendment of the Water Sharing Plan for the Upper and Lower Namoi Regulated River Water Sources 2016 and Water Sharing Plan for the Namoi and Peel Unregulated Rivers Water Sources 2012 to include the rules to implement the Basin Plan requirements and floodplain harvesting framework amendments are in progress.

Updated version (non- model related) currently under further review by MDBA.

Anticipated resubmission date to be confirmed.
TBC

Engagement

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

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.