2019-2020 Water sharing plan reviews



Water sharing plans prescribe how water is managed in NSW. They must first provide for the environment, and also support social and economic outcomes.

These plans are developed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Water (DPIE-Water) and typically apply for a period of ten years. At the end of this period, the Minister responsible for the Water Management Act 2000 may decide to replace or extend a plan. To inform the Minister’s decision, the Commission has a role under s.43A of the Act to independently review plans to:

  • determine if outcomes are being achieved
  • identify what changes are required
  • recommend if a plan should be extended or replaced.

The process to replace plans is undertaken by DPIE-Water.

Final review reports provided to the Minister

The Commission provided five final review reports to the Minister and recommended that the water sharing plan for the:

  • Central Coast be extended for two years until June 2022 to allow enough resources to make required plan improvements, and replaced by June 2022 to address the Commission's recommendations
  • Coffs Harbour be extended for two years until June 2022 to allow enough resources to make required plan improvements, and replaced by June 2022 to address the Commission's recommendations
  • Hunter be extended for two years until June 2022 to allow enough additional time for the completion of studies and to make required plan improvements, and replaced by July 2022 to address the Commission's recommendations
  • Lower North Coast be extended for two years until June 2022 to allow enough resources to make required plan improvements, and replaced by June 2022 to address the Commission's recommendations.

The water sources for the Peel Valley will be split across four water sharing plans in July 2020. The Commission recommended that priority issues carried over to the Water Sharing Plan for the Peel Regulated River 2020 be addressed by July 2020. Other issues should be addressed in the new plans by July 2022 to allow time for additional studies and consultation.

What other plans are currently being reviewed?

Currently, the Commission is conducting reviews of the following water sharing plans.

The Commission held a public submissions process to hear feedback on these plans, which has now closed. We will now consider this feedback and other evidence, and provide a review report to the Minister.

Water Sharing Plan Map Expiry
Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Greater Metropolitan Region Groundwater Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Bega and Brogo Rivers Area Regulated, Unregulated and Alluvial Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Murrah-Wallaga Area Unregulated and Alluvial Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Richmond River Area Unregulated, Regulated and Alluvial Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Towamba River Unregulated and Alluvial Appendix 1 of plan June 2021
Tweed River Area Unregulated and Alluvial Appendix 1 of plan June 2021

More information is available on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

Submissions received

The following submissions for water sharing plan reviews are published in line with the Commission's submissions policy.

Bega and Brogo Rivers Area Regulated, Unregulated and Alluvial
Greater Metropolitan Region Groundwater
Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River
Murrah-Wallaga Area Unregulated and Alluvial
Peel Valley Regulated, Unregulated, Alluvial and Fractured Rock

Richmond River Area Unregulated, Regulated and Alluvial
Towamba River Unregulated and Alluvial
Tweed River Area Unregulated and Alluvial

Related web pages