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Applying for a New Water Access Licence

Applying for a New Water Access Licence

Most water sharing plans allow for applications for the following category 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?
  • WALs a zero share component, which allow 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.

You can apply for a new WAL online or in hard copy:

  • applications using Water Applications Online can be processed faster than those using the download form. Applicants can track the progress of their application using a unique log in and password. Application fees can be paid online using a credit card.
  • find out more about applying and paying online and application fees.
  • download an application form as a PDF document. Complete it either in handwriting or onscreen using Adobe Acrobat Reader (Version 8 or above).

Application forms - applying for a new WAL

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 Water Access Licence 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.

WAL certificates

The WAL Register has a separate record for each WAL issued (called a WAL folio). The online register is administered by NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS).

NSW LRS issues a duplicate of the WAL folio (called the WAL certificate) to the WAL holder, or any other party entitled to hold the WAL certificate, e.g. a mortgagee.

For more detailed information go to the Registrar General's Directions website or information on the Water Access Licence Register on the NSW LRS website.

Key Steps to Issuing a WAL Certificate

Processing the application

If the application is complete 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.

Notice of determination

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.

Registering the WAL with NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS)

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.

Issue of the WAL certificate

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.

For more information on WALs, water accounts and the Internet Water Accounting System (iWAS) please contact us.

The online NSW Water Register maintained by WaterNSW provides information on WAL and other consents and activities under the Water Management Act 2000, including:

  • WAL conditions
  • available water determinations
  • water trading statistics including water allocation assignments (formerly known as temporary trades) and assignment of shares (formerly known as permanent trades)
  • summaries by water source of number of WALs, available water determinations and water usage.

NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS)

The Water Access Licence Register maintained by NSW Land Registry Services provides more detailed information about every WAL in NSW. For more information go to NSW Land Registry Services.

Tuesday 22 May
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Tuesday 22 May