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Licensing and trade

Major projects

Major projects may need to apply for water licences or approvals under certain circumstances to ensure the proposed development is sustainable.

Pelicans on the Hawksbury River.

What are major projects?

Major projects are state significant developments and state significant infrastructure (SSD and SSI) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

What is the Water Group responsible for?

Our department is responsible for:


The department advises the department's Planning Group and proponents of major projects to ensure that the proposed development is sustainable.

More information about the pre-approval process

Contact the department's Water Assessment team:

See more detailed information on our website:

Assessing major developments

After your project has been approved

The NSW Government remains closely involved with the development of projects after approval is granted. The post-approval process ensures that water resources are effectively managed and monitored.

Projects must comply with approval conditions and water licence requirements, and have adequate monitoring in place for the government to track and monitor compliance. SSD and SSI project applicants may need to consult with the department on post-approval management plans required as a condition of consent.

More information about consulting with the department

Do I need to submit a post-approval management plan?

You will need to submit a post-approval management plan if your DA requires you to consult on any of the following:

  • groundwater models
  • groundwater monitoring and modelling plans
  • surface water and groundwater monitoring reports
  • specific requests from the Department
  • water management plans
  • extraction management plans
  • subsidence management plans
  • water licensing under the Water Management Act 2000
  • works typically requiring a controlled activity approval under the Water Management Act 2000 (e.g. watercourse realignment, riparian rehabilitation)
  • specific requests from the Department

How to submit your post-approval management plan

Submit your post-approval management plan via the Major Projects portal to the Department of Planning and Environment -–Planning.

Visit the Major Projects Portal

Contact us

The department's Water Assessment team coordinates water advice for Major Projects and can be contacted via email: water.assessments@dpie.nsw.gov.au.

More information and how to stay compliant

Answers to frequently asked questions about post-approval management plans

How to stay compliant with groundwater requirements for major projects

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.