Applying for a New Water Access Licence

Applying for a New Water Access Licence

Most water sharing plans allow for applications for the following categories of water access licences (WALs):

  • Specific purpose WAL. For information on estimating how much water you need for domestic and stock purposes go to How much water do I need? (PDF, 524.45 KB)
  • WALs with a zero share component. This allows you to have a water allocation account and to buy or transfer allocation water on an annual basis or share component from another WAL holder.

Apply, pay and track online

You can apply for a new WAL using Water Applications Online or by downloading and completing a form.

Online applications can be processed faster and you can track the progress of your application using a login and password. Application fees can be paid online using a credit card.

Application forms

New specific purpose WAL:

New WAL with a zero share component:

When can I take water?

A new WAL becomes legally effective only when it is registered by NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) on the WAL Register.

A water allocation account will be established for the new WAL.

If an available water determination has been made, water will be credited to the account. However, water will only be credited to an account for a zero share WAL once you have purchased account water or a share component from another WAL holder.

WAL holders can only take water if:

  • the water allocation account for that WAL is in credit (either by an available water determination credit or a water allocation assignment - formerly known as a temporary trade) and
  • the water is taken through a water supply work nominated on that WAL.

Key Steps to Issuing a WAL Certificate

If the application is completed, it will be registered by WaterNSW.

The application will be checked and assessed against the water sharing plan rules applicable to the relevant water source and provisions of the Water Management Act 2000 and Water Management (General) Regulation 2011. You can obtain a copy of the water sharing plan from the NSW Legislation website.

Assessment may require consultation with Native Title representatives or local Aboriginal groups. The assessment officer will also check that, in the case of a specific purpose licence, you have the required approvals or have applied for these, and that the volume of water sought is reasonable for the proposed purpose.

WaterNSW will either grant the application with appropriate conditions or refuse it.

WaterNSW will advise you by letter of the result of your application, known as the notice of determination. If your application has been approved the notice will include the conditions that will apply to the licence.

If an application for a new WAL is granted, it is the responsibility of the applicant to present the notification to NSW LRS to register the WAL on the WAL Register. A fee is charged by NSW LRS.

After registration, NSW LRS will issue the WAL certificate to the WAL holder. It is important to keep the WAL certificate in a safe place as you will need to produce it if you wish to sell your WAL or amend it later. For more information, read the Guide to water access licences and certificates (PDF, 605.14 KB).

NSW Land Registry Services

The WAL Register maintained by NSW LRS provides more detailed information about every WAL in NSW.


Tuesday 17 May
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Tuesday 17 May