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Who we are

NRAR’s policies and guidelines

To obtain an overall view of what NRAR does, see the About NRAR fact sheet. Below you will find the policies and guidelines that govern how we conduct our work.

NRAR hats

Quality policy statement

NRAR’s quality policy states we will develop and maintain a quality management system in accordance with AS/NZSICO9001:2016. This commits us to continuous improvement and to periodically review our regulatory approach, policies, processes, systems and activities.

NRAR officer conducting routine checks on a property in NSW

Regulatory policy

Our regulatory policy sets out the principles that determine how we employ regulatory measures to ensure water is used lawfully in NSW. We will apply this policy to create strategies, which draw on best practice regulation, to effectively and efficiently achieve outcomes to the benefit of NSW.

NRAR staff visiting a property in Glenn Innes.

Compliance activity revenue management policy

Our compliance activity revenue management policy outlines how we manage revenue generated from NRAR compliance activities. The policy explains how revenue from different compliance actions will be used and we apply this policy to ensure the transparent and accountable management of all NRAR compliance revenue.

NRAR officer checking a water meter

Water metering framework

The NSW Government released a new metering framework of rules for non-urban water meters in NSW on 1 December 2018.

Under the new rules, licensed water users are required to install compliant metering equipment on works that meet the metering thresholds, by their area’s roll-out date.

See NRAR’s fact sheet (PDF, 272.7 KB) on how we regulate the new metering rules in NSW.

A blueberry farm in Coffs Harbour

Enforceable undertaking guidelines

If a company or individual has been found to have breached water laws in a significant manner, they may propose to NRAR that they enter an enforceable undertaking as an alternative to court action. An enforceable undertaking is voluntary but legally binding.

NRAR will consider the nature and seriousness of the breach and the compliance history of the party when deciding whether the enforceable undertaking is likely to achieve the most effective regulatory outcome. It will not be accepted if we consider it is not the most appropriate regulatory response to the circumstances of the case.

NRAR has prepared guidelines for those wanting to propose an enforceable undertaking. The guidelines explain enforceable undertakings, their purpose, factors that will be taken into account in deciding to accept an enforceable undertaking, and possible terms of any negotiated enforceable undertakings. The template enables the party, with the assistance of NRAR, to draft their proposed undertaking.

Water pumping from river in New South Wales

Prosecution guidelines

Prosecution is an important discretionary power and regulatory tool which NRAR uses when appropriate for water users who breach the laws in the most serious manner.

The primary aims of prosecution are to achieve compliance, ensure specific and general deterrence, and take action in the public interest.

NRAR’s Prosecution guidelines explain and guide the approach we take in determining the appropriate response to a serious breach of water laws.


Guidelines for reporting breaches of water laws

NRAR has written guidelines on reporting an alleged breach of water laws so those reporting have a clear idea of the process. The guidelines for reporting alleged breaches of the Water Management Act 2000 and Water Act 1912 cover:

  • how to report alleged breaches of the water laws to NRAR
  • the most common offence types
  • what information you will need to provide to us
  • what happens next when you report an alleged breach
  • how we respond to reports of alleged breaches.