A NSW Government website

Licensing and trade


Compliance with licence and approval requirements is critical to sharing of our precious water.

The department is responsible for managing the state's water sources. A key part of this responsibility is ensuring compliance with water management legislation.

While most people follow the rules, some people carry out illegal water activities - sometimes these actions are deliberate and sometimes they happen because people do not know the law.

Compliance with licence and approval requirements is critical to:

  • sustainable sharing of our precious water resources between water users and the environment
  • preventing harm to water supplies and our environment.

Water theft and harming water sources are serious crimes.

Natural Resources Access Regulator

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is the independent regulator that oversees the enforcement of water management laws in NSW. NRAR engages with water users, industry bodies, government departments and the wider community on matters relating to water compliance.

NRAR was established under the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017 and has four regulatory priorities for the 2021-22 water year. These priorities are: water used for irrigated agriculture, bore extraction limits, overdrawn water accounts and ensuring compliance with the non-urban water metering framework.

Help stop illegal water activities

You can play a role in protecting our water resources. The Information you provide could help stop illegal water related activities in your area.

Find out more about NRAR’s work, or how to report illegal water activities to NRAR.


NRAR is responsible for the enforcement of water laws in NSW through monitoring compliance and education.

Report illegal water activities

Report a suspicious activity using NRAR's online form.