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About NRAR

Our regulatory priorities 2021-22

A principal objective of NRAR is to ensure effective, efficient, transparent and accountable compliance and enforcement measures for the natural resources management legislation.

We publish our regulatory priorities to show how and where we focus our efforts to build and maintain public confidence in water management in NSW. Download our regulatory priorities one-pager to get a sense of our priority areas.

Our annual priorities


Water metering and DQPs

The non-urban water metering framework will ensure accurate measurement of water take, supporting us to deliver an effective and efficient compliance program. Duly qualified persons (DQPs) are integral to ensuring the effectiveness of this program, so we will undertake checks to ensure consistency and accuracy of their work.

Region: statewide


Irrigated agriculture

We will target a range of irrigated agriculture activities, which may include certain crop types and irrigated agriculture activities that extract large volumes of water.

Regions: Hunter, Murray, Murrumbidgee and the Far North Coast


Overdrawn accounts

Water users who take water that has not been ordered and/or accounted for are taking water directly from other water users and the environment.

Region: statewide


Extraction limits in at-risk sources

Bore extraction limits allow for the management of water extraction from often complex and fragile sources that play an important role for natural habitats and the quality of dependent ecosystems.

Region: Lachlan, Lower Murrumbidgee and Namoi

Our enduring priorities

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Accurate measurement

Water take to be measured and reported accurately and reliably in line with the law.

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Aboriginal cultural values

We will endeavour to protect and prioritise Aboriginal cultural and spiritual values in water regulation. Water is central to the cultural and spiritual values of Aboriginal peoples and is intrinsically linked to their obligations in caring for Country.

Unlawful activity, significant harm

Unlawful activity, significant harm: we will continue to take action against water users who undertake unlawful activities, which causes significant harm to other water users, communities or the environment.

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Unauthorised structures

Unauthorised structures stop water from getting where it should on the floodplain. We will regulate water users with unauthorised structures on the floodplain that divert water from important cultural or environmental assets.

Regulatory priorities 2021-22

Our regulatory priorities are crafted to align with the Water Reform Action Plan and the Draft NSW Water Strategy and to support the goals for water management in NSW.

Earlier priority areas

We review and update our priorities on an ongoing basis to take into account new developments and improvements in our data and analytical tools. See our previous priorities below.