A NSW Government website


How to apply for licences and approvals

Important information

WaterNSW is responsible for issuing most licences in NSW. Use this information to determine which agency you should lodge your application with.

If you are a water user, it is your responsibility to make sure you obtain all necessary licences and approvals before taking water or starting any work near a water source.

NRAR issues water access licences and associated approvals to larger water users such as irrigation corporations and government entities, while WaterNSW licenses rural landholders and businesses.

Find out who to apply to and how on our Water licensing and work approvals.

NRAR also issues all controlled activity approvals in the state, usually in concert with a development approval from your local council.

Rural landholders and industries

WaterNSW is your one stop shop for licensing services, including flood work approvals, for rural landholders and rural industries.


Water licensing and approvals

Find information on the water licensing and work approval processes.

Water licences work approvals and water use approvals

Controlled activity approvals

Find out what approvals you need to carry out works on waterfront land (‘controlled activities’) and how to undertake this activity.


Flood works approvals

Learn more about flood works approvals and their purpose, and how to apply for a new approval or to amend an existing one.