Greater Sydney drought information

Greater Sydney drought information

Managing water for Greater Sydney in drought

In the Greater Sydney region, WaterNSW manages a total of 21 storage dams, including 11 major dams that can hold more than 2.6 million megalitres of water. Water for these dams is collected from five catchment areas covering 16,000 square kilometres.

During the current drought, customers living and working in the Greater Sydney catchment are watching water storage levels.

Water restrictions

If Sydney's storage levels hits 53% or lower, WaterNSW will be managing at least two years water storage, assuming no rain.

From 1 June, Sydney will be on enforced water restrictions. Sydney Water’s restrictions are relevant to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. For more details go to

As of 27 January 2019, the 60% total water storage trigger to activate Sydney’s desalination plant has been reached.

As of 28 August 2019 and following changes to the operating rules for the Shoalhaven transfer scheme, an additional 14.5GL is available for the Greater Sydney system.

Read our latest report showing recent Sydney rainfall and storage impact below.

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Access additional drought resources for Greater Sydney

Drought Resources


Wednesday 19 February
2,106,788 ML
2,596,150 ML
7,006 ML
1,001 ML
212,766 ML
Wednesday 19 February