A NSW Government website

Controlled activity approvals

Waterfront land e -tool

Use the waterfront land e-Tool to determine if your development is on waterfront land and requires a controlled activity approval from the department.

Waterfront of Lake

About the waterfront land e-tool

The waterfront land e-tool can help you determine whether a proposed development is on waterfront land and if it requires a controlled activity approval.

The e-tool can be used:

  • as part of a preliminary site investigation or assessment
  • at the pre-development application stage to understand if it is an integrated development and should be referred to the department
  • to provide evidence to the local council regarding the need to refer your matter to the department
  • as a tool to support riparian mapping and watercourse assessment for major land releases and rezoning.

How does the e-tool work?

The e-tool has three sections:

  1. desktop assessment
  2. field-based assessment
  3. results.

Once you have completed the desktop assessment and field-based assessment, the e-tool will email you your result.

Keep a record

Please keep a copy of the e-tool results for your records, and include it with any development application.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) may ask landholders for copies of the e-tool result and supporting documents if they carry out work without approval.

Go to the Waterfront land e-tool

The waterfront land e-tool can be used in conjunction with the PDF version of the tool.


You should not use the results from this e-tool as evidence of compliance with the Water Management Act 2000.

Users are responsible for making their own assessment and should verify all relevant representations, statements, and information with their own professional advisers.

The e-tool is not an approval to undertake work on waterfront land, applicants will still need to obtain relevant approvals as required under the Water Management Act 2000 and other relevant legislation.

This e-tool only applies to controlled activities on waterfront land and does not cover water access licenses, water supply work, or water use approvals.

Not sure about what you need?

We've developed the Water Assist tool to help you work out who to talk to and what steps to take to get the licences and approvals you need.