A NSW Government website

Plans and

Regional water strategies in New South Wales

Sustainable and integrated water resource management for the benefit of present and future generations.

The department is preparing new regional water strategies to plan and manage the water needs in each NSW region over the next 20-40 years. These strategies will bring together the best and latest climate evidence with a wide range of tools and solutions.

We are preparing 12 regional water strategies in partnership with water service providers, local councils, communities, Aboriginal people and other stakeholders across NSW.

We have been working with communities to ensure local and traditional knowledge informs the strategies and these long-term water strategies serve regional communities, including Aboriginal people, the environment and industry.

The final strategies developed over 2020-2023 will be adaptive, with inbuilt review processes to ensure each region has an effective and relevant plan in place for future water management.

Read more about the purpose and objectives of regional water strategies and our approach to developing them.

Download PDF (3.5 MB)

The water strategy regions are:

  • Greater Hunter
  • Macquarie-Castlereagh
  • Lachlan
  • Gwydir
  • Far North Coast
  • Border Rivers
  • North Coast
  • South Coast
  • Namoi
  • Western
  • Murrumbidgee
  • NSW Murray
  • Fish River – Wywandy

An overview

Regional water strategies bring together the most up-to-date information and evidence with all the tools we have – policy, planning, behavioural, regulatory, technology and infrastructure solutions. Each strategy is an evidence based integrated package that balances diverse water aspirations and delivers the right amount of water, at the right time, to people and businesses across NSW.

Partnering with communities

A key objective of the regional water strategies is to recognise and protect Aboriginal water rights, access to water, and heritage assets. We are partnering with Aboriginal communities to prepare these strategies. Our consultations with Aboriginal communities have identified a need for a state-wide Aboriginal water strategy, which will be the first of its kind for the state.

Final regional water strategies

Sustainable and integrated water resource management per region for the benefit of present and future generations.

Farmland west of Bega, NSW.

Draft strategies and what we heard

Regional Water Strategies previously on public exhibition and what we’ve heard so far.

Strategies under development

Your feedback, alongside other engagement, continued research and further analysis, will help us make sure our strategies improve the security, reliability, quality and resilience of the state’s water resources.

Objectives of regional water strategies

Regional water strategies will set out a long-term ‘roadmap’ of actions to deliver five objectives.

Development of regional water strategies

We are working to improve the resilience of our water resources for communities, the environment and industry.

Climate data and modelling in Regional water strategies

Regional water strategies will be underpinned by the best available new climate data and modelling.

Identifying and assessing strategy options

We have developed a decision-making process to help identify options that meet our objectives.

Community engagement

We are working with local councils, water service providers, Aboriginal people and other stakeholders.

Objectives and principles for engaging with Aboriginal people

We are working with an Aboriginal advisory group to co-develop an approach for engaging Aboriginal communities.