A NSW Government website

What we do

Our role and purpose

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is an independent regulator established under the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017.

NRAR is responsible for enforcing natural resources management legislation, which currently includes the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017, the Water Management Act 2000, the Water Act 1912, and associated regulations. Our current focus is enforcing water management laws.

NRAR is responsible for detecting, preventing and stopping illegal water activities relating to areas such as water acquisition and use, environmental concerns such as water runoff, and the safety of infrastructure.

We also approve and regulate works on waterfront land and manage water licences and approvals of larger entities.

Water users in NSW need to know the conditions on their water access licences and associated approvals to comply with the law. Here’s a short guide on how to find out about your conditions on the NSW Water Register.

NRAR and WaterNSW share responsibility for granting and managing water licences and approvals. We administer water licences, water use and works approvals for certain water users, including water utilities, government agencies, mines, irrigation corporations, and Aboriginal communities and businesses. NRAR also advises on state-significant development and infrastructure projects.

WaterNSW is responsible for licences and approvals for rural landholders, rural industries and developments which are not state-significant.

NRAR works to ensure that water users know their responsibilities under the water laws. We provide a range of information and programs to make it easier for water users to understand the rules, follow them, and make informed choices.

We are committed to openness, transparency, and engaging water users, industry bodies and the wider community in a meaningful way. Water users can call the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au to ask questions, discuss concerns or report suspicious activity, or talk to our officers during site inspections or periodic community feedback forums.

NRAR works closely with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Water (- Water group), as well as with other water agencies such as WaterNSW.

The Department’s Water is responsible for planning, policy development, and regulatory frameworks for regional water in NSW.

WaterNSW is responsible for supplying the state’s bulk water needs and managing the state’s river systems and the bulk water supply system for Greater Sydney. It also provides services to its customers such as licensing and approvals, water allocation trades, water licence trades and water resource information. Find out more about the responsibilities of each agency.