A NSW Government website

Water access licences and approvals

Zero share licence

Before you can take water under a new zero-share licence, you will need to purchase or lease licence shares or purchase water allocations from another licence holder.

Birds eye view of a river

About the zero share licence

A water access licence (WAL) is generally required to extract water from rivers or aquifers. It permits the licence holder to take water allocations credited to the WAL in accordance with its terms and conditions. A zero share WAL is a water allocation account with no shares (0 ML)

After you have been issued with a zero share WAL, you will need to purchase or lease shares from another licence holder to account for the water you use. This is a separate transaction called a WAL dealing. WaterNSW facilitates all WAL dealings.

Visit WaterNSW for more information on dealings.

How to apply

You must complete the application form to obtain a new zero share WAL.

Application form

Use these documents to apply for a specific purpose access licence:

Submit your application

Submit by email

Email your completed application form and any other documents it requires to waterlicensing.servicedesk@dpie.nsw.gov.au.


Application fee: $1,303.55*

*Fees and assessment times

*To find more information about related fees and applications visit the Fees and application forms page.

See the Assessment timeframes. page to find out how long your application will take.

Paying for your application

After we have accepted your application form, an officer from the department will call you to finalise your payment. You can pay the application fee by credit card or direct deposit.

See links to all application forms and fee schedules

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.