A NSW Government website

Plans and

Aboriginal Water Program

Securing a future where water for Aboriginal people is embedded within the water planning and management approach in NSW.

Aboriginal water programs

About the Aboriginal Water Program

Healthy waterways are critical to the culture and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities across NSW. Water provides food, kinship, connection, recreation, stories, songlines and healing.

The department is committed to improving water management in NSW by giving greater recognition to Aboriginal water rights and interests as well as improving access to and ownership of water for cultural, spiritual, social, environmental and economic benefit to communities.

NSW water strategy prioritises Aboriginal people’s water rights

Recognise Aboriginal people’s rights and values and increase access to and ownership of water for cultural and economic purposes.

Sandy beach by Macquarie River, Dubbo. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Cultural Watering Plans

Cultural Watering Plans provide the information and data required to improve policies to achieve Aboriginal community aspirations.

Cultural watering plans

NSW Aboriginal Water Strategy

We are co-designing a long-term Aboriginal Water Strategy with Aboriginal communities to ensure continued access to water resources for

Bellinger River, Mid North Coast in NSW. Image courtesy of Nathan Peckham.