Water sharing plan reviews

Reviewing water sharing plans to identify opportunities to improve water sharing provisions and associated outcomes

The purpose of water sharing plans is to prescribe how water is managed, firstly to provide for the environment and also to support social and economic outcomes. These plans typically apply for a period of ten years.

The Commission has a statutory role under Section 43A of the Water Management Act 2000 to undertake independent reviews of water sharing plans approaching expiry and report its findings to the Minister for Water. These reviews help to identify opportunities to improve water sharing provisions and associated outcomes. The Minister considers the Commission’s report before deciding to extend or make a new water sharing plan.

Current reviews (2020-2021 Water sharing plan reviews)

Have your say

The Commission is calling for submissions on three inland water sharing plans from members of the community and stakeholders. These plans include:

  • North Western Unregulated and Fractured Rock Water Sources 20211
  • NSW Border Rivers Unregulated River Water Sources 2012
  • Castlereagh River Unregulated Water Sources 2011.

Two of these plans fall within the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW Border Rivers unregulated and Castlereagh River unregulated). They were amended in 2020 as part of the development of Water Resource Plans to remove alluvial water sources. These groundwater sources and associated provisions were moved to other water sharing plans that will be reviewed in the future. The Commission’s review will therefore focus on surface water sources to which the currently legislated plans apply. However, if the Commission identifies issues of relevance to the groundwater resources removed from the original water sharing plans, for example in relation to surface-groundwater connectivity, we will note this in our review and indicate it should be considered in the review of the relevant groundwater plan.

A submission must clearly indicate the water sharing plan it relates to.

It would help if your submission addresses the following five key questions in relation to social, environmental and economic outcomes, and opportunities for improvement:

  1. To what extent do you feel the plan has contributed to environmental outcomes?
  2. To what extent do you feel the plan has contributed to social outcomes?
  3. To what extent do you feel the plan has contributed to economic outcomes?
  4. To what extent do you feel the plan has contributed to meeting its objectives?
  5. What changes do you feel are needed to the water sharing plan to improve outcomes?

Submissions close at 5:00pm on Friday 16 July 2021.

You can email your submission to: nrc@nrc.nsw.gov.au or call 0448 481 420 for support with lodging your submission.

All written submissions will be published on this website in line with the Commission's submissions policy.

For more Information:


Amy Dula, Director Programs


0448 481 420

Reviews provided to the Minister

The Commission has provided reports on the review of the following plans to the Minister for Water.

  • Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River
  • Greater Metropolitan Region Groundwater
  • Richmond River Area Unregulated, Regulated and Alluvial
  • Tweed River Area Unregulated and Alluvial

Plans being reviewed

The Commission is reviewing water sharing plans for the following water sources:

  • Bega and Brogo Rivers Area Regulated, Unregulated and Alluvial
  • Intersecting Streams Unregulated River Water Sources
  • Lower Murray Darling Unregulated Water Sources
  • Murrah-Wallaga Area Unregulated and Alluvial
  • Murray Unregulated Water Sources
  • Towamba River Unregulated and Alluvial

Completed reviews

Water sharing plan
Central Coast Unregulated Review report
Coffs Harbour Area Unregulated and Alluviul Review report
Hunter Unregulated and Alluvial Review report
Lower North Coast Unregulated and Alluvial Review report
Peel Valley Regulated, Unregulated, Alluvial and Fractured Rock Review report
Water sharing plan
Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Review report
Water sharing plan
Belinger River Area Unregulated and Alluvial Review report
NSW Border Rivers Regulated River Review report
NSW Great Artesian Basin Shallow Groundwater Review report
Water sharing plan
Lower Gwydir Groundwater Review report (all plans)
Lower Lachlan Groundwater
Lower Macquarie Groundwater
Lower Murray Groundwater
Lower Murrumbidgee Groundwater
Paterson Regulated River
Upper and Lower Namoi Groundwater
Water sharing plan
Adelong Creek Review report (all plans)
Alstoneville Plateau Groundwater
Apsley River
Castlereagh River above Binnaway
Commissioners Waters
Coopers Creek
Dorrigo Plateau Surface and Dorrigo Basalt Groundwater
Gwydir Regulated River
Hunter Regulated River
Jilliby Jilliby Creek
Kangaroo River
Karuah River
Kulnura Mangrove Mountain Groundwater
Lachlan Regulated River
Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers
Mangrove Creek
Murrumbidgee Regulated River
NSW Murray and Lower Darling Regulated Rivers
Ourimbah Creek
Phillips Ck, Mooki River, Quirindi Ck and Warrah Creek
Rocky Ck, Cobbadah Upper Horton and Lower Horton
Stuarts Point Groundwater
Tarcutta Creek
Tenterfield Creek
Tomago TomareeStockton Groundwater
Toorumbie Creek
Upper Billabong
Upper Brunswick River
Upper Namoi and Lower Namoi Regulated River
Wandella Creek
Wybong Creek
Water sharing plan
Lower Lachlan Groundwater Review report