The NSW Groundwater Strategy delivers on a key priority of the NSW Water Strategy by ensuring an enhanced, state-wide focus on sustainable groundwater management for the next 20 years.
Our groundwater resources are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to changing climate conditions, population growth and increased land use. A long-term direction – harnessing the latest science available – is needed to make sure the way we manage groundwater continues to evolve to tackle the critical challenges it faces now and in the future.
Strategy at a glance
|Our groundwater resources and dependent ecosystems are protected to support current and future uses||Through sustainable groundwater use, water dependent aspirations of Aboriginal people are supported, water resilience for urban populations is improved and development opportunities are realised||Better groundwater management and investment decisions are made based on improved information and knowledge|
|Refresh, consolidate and expand our groundwater policy framework||Support Aboriginal people's rights, values and uses of groundwater||Develop the groundwater components of a water knowledge plan|
|Improve protection of groundwater dependent ecosystems and baseflows to streams||Support towns and cities that use groundwater to improve their urban water planning||Better share and integrate groundwater information|
|Review and update approaches to sustainable groundwater extraction||Support resilient groundwater dependent industries in NSW||Improve our understanding of groundwater resources|
|Protect groundwater quality within natural limits||Expand and target our groundwater data collection|
|Better integrate groundwater management with other land and water management processes|
About the strategy
NSW has a robust, world-leading approach to managing our groundwater resources. While this approach has served us well, the NSW Groundwater Strategy builds on and improves the way groundwater resources are managed and used in NSW for the next 20 years.
The strategy has been developed via an evidence-based, whole-of-government process with the technical input of an external advisory panel of world-class experts.
It identifies the main challenges confronting the state’s groundwater resources and the modern-day issues driving the need for our groundwater management approach to evolve and deliver long-term groundwater sustainability for NSW.
12 strategic priorities actions underpin the department’s response to these challenges and issues – providing a blueprint for devising and delivering initiatives that will protect and future-proof our groundwater resources.
The first implementation plan will be published online in early 2023.
Two companion guides provide relevant background information on our groundwater resources and how we manage them:
How we developed the strategy
Through the Regional Water Strategies program, we worked with communities across the state over a three-year period to understand groundwater challenges and opportunities. We then engaged publicly online on a draft NSW Groundwater Strategy.
Feedback received on the draft strategy from this engagement was used to refine the strategy and develop the first implementation plan.
What we heard
529 stakeholders participated in the engagement program and we received 59 formal submissions.
We are sharing collected community and stakeholder submissions for the draft strategy.
- Submission 1 Kintan Pty Ltd (PDF 170.1 KB)
- Submission 2 NSW Mining (PDF 2.5 MB)
- Submission 3 (PDF 177.0 KB)
- Submission 4 (PDF 383.7 KB)
- Submission 5 Brian Stevens (PDF 781.8 KB)
- Submission 6 (PDF 196.8 KB)
- Submission 7 National Parks Association of NSW (PDF 303.4 KB)
- Submission 8 Water Resources Drilling (PDF 812.4 KB)
- Submission 9 Murray Valley Groundwater Irrigators Association (PDF 431.4 KB)
- Submission 10 Sian and Clive Quick (PDF 188.5 KB)
- Submission 11 MidCoast Council (PDF 978.2 KB)
- Submission 12 Ontoto (PDF 264.8 KB)
- Submission 13 ARC Industrial Transformation and Training Centre (PDF 17.9 MB)
- Submission 14 NSW Irrigators Council (PDF 267.0 KB)
- Submission 15 National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (PDF 155.5 KB)
- Submission 16 Central Coast Council (PDF 766.4 KB)
- Submission 17 Central NSW Joint Organisation (PDF 616.2 KB)
- Submission 18 Nature Conservation Council (PDF 303.7 KB)
- Submission 19 CSIRO (PDF 266.4 KB)
- Submission 20 Stormwater NSW (PDF 247.0 KB)
- Submission 21 National Parks Association of NSW (PDF 113.8 KB)
- Submission 22 Central West Environment Council (PDF 117.3 KB)
- Submission 23 Hunter Environment Lobby (PDF 125.6 KB)
- Submission 24 Inland Rivers Network (PDF 477.5 KB)
- Submission 25 Healthy Rivers Dubbo (PDF 832.0 KB)
- Submission 26 Rylstone District Environment Society (PDF 603.9 KB)
- Submission 27 Dr Julia Imrie (PDF 812.3 KB)
- Submission 28 Andrew Ross (PDF 946.2 KB)
- Submission 29 Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (PDF 196.7 KB)
- Submission 30 Robyn Bird (PDF 96.6 KB)
- Submission 31 Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (PDF 296.0 KB)
- Submission 32 Lachlan Valley Water (PDF 149.3 KB)
- Submission 33 (PDF 1.2 MB)
- Submission 34 NSW Water Directorate (PDF 392.2 KB)
- Submission 35 NSW Branch International Association of Hydrogeologists (PDF 607.8 KB)
- Submission 36 Peel Valley Water Users Association (PDF 220.2 KB)
- Submission 37 (PDF 161.9 KB)
- Submission 38 (PDF 240.2 KB)
- Submission 39 The Mulloon Institute (PDF 795.2 KB)
- Submission 40 Muswellbrook Shire Council (PDF 265.0 KB)
- Submission 41 Rous County Council (PDF 516.9 KB)
- Submission 42 Sydney Water (PDF 134.3 KB)
- Submission 43 Australian Beverages Council (PDF 559.3 KB)
- Submission 44 Steven Broussos (PDF 160.4 KB)
- Submission 45 (PDF 134.7 KB)
- Submission 46 David Gowing (PDF 122.9 KB)
- Submission 47 RN Krause & Co (PDF 120.0 KB)
- Submission 48 (PDF 195.2 KB)
- Submission 49 Andy Moran (PDF 123.0 KB)
- Submission 50 (PDF 142.0 KB)
- Submission 51 Geoff Thomas (PDF 118.3 KB)
- Submission 52 Namoi Water (PDF 358.8 KB)
- Submission 53 Lachlan Valley Water (PDF 270.5 KB)
- Submission 54 Artesian Bore Water Users Association of NSW (PDF 611.6 KB)
- Submission 55 Great Artesian Basin Advisory Group (PDF 981.8 KB)
Watch the recorded webinar
Thursday, 28 July 2022
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
How does the strategy tackle climate change?
A key purpose of the NSW Groundwater Strategy is to ensure we have the right information to inform the right decision at the right time.
The NSW Government is using our new climate data in collaboration with the CSIRO to model the effects that climate conditions may have on groundwater resources.
This work will be available online in early 2023.
Groundwater and climate change
Not all actions in the strategy will be commenced at once, and funding will be a consideration in planning when and how the actions will be implemented. The NSW Groundwater Strategy will be a key tool in securing funding as future opportunities arise.
The first implementation plan will be published online in early 2023. It will show what we will achieve by when. It will also identify key partners to effectively deliver the actions.
We will undertake a formal review of the strategy at least every 5 years or in response to significant changing conditions and government priorities.
If you have any questions about the NSW Groundwater, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org