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About NRAR

How we ensure compliance

NRAR has many methods of finding breaches of water laws. In addition to responding to and investigating reports of alleged breaches, we have teams of compliance officers across NSW who actively monitor and audit the use of surface water and groundwater. We also use technology including state-of-the-art satellite imagery, drones, motion-activated surveillance cameras and intelligent data to monitor unlawful water take. Our technology allows us to be anywhere in the state, at any time with the click of a button.

Our officers have a broad range of powers to enter premises and gather evidence, such as photos and samples. They can also compel the individual or entity under investigation to provide records and answer questions relating to that investigation.

NRAR is a risk-based regulator which means we approach investigations on a case-by-case basis. We consider the potential harm caused to the environment or other water users, the offender’s culpability and compliance history as well as their attitude to the non-compliance.

Serious, substantiated and wilful acts of non-compliance will face the full force of the law. Where non-compliance occurs out of ignorance with minimal harm we will look to educational measures.

How we operate and investigate

NRAR uses a range of methods to enforce our state’s water laws.


How we respond to breaches of the law

NRAR responds in a range of ways to non-compliance when a breach of water law is confirmed, depending on its severity. Find out more about

How we respond to breaches of the law

How we use technology

Find out more about the range of technologies we use to monitor and assess compliance with water laws.