The Water Management Act 2000 was passed by the NSW Parliament in December 2000. It established a new statutory framework for managing water in NSW.
- The main objective: provide for the sustainable and integrated management of NSW water resources for the benefit of both present and future generations.
- NSW Water Sharing Plans are made under the Water Management Act 2000 and the majority of NSW water access licences are issued under the Act.
- To support the implementation of the NSW Government’s Water Reform Action Plan, amendments to the Water Management Act 2000 and the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017 may be required. The NSW Government has released an Exposure Bill , the draft Water Management Amendment Bill 2018. A fact sheet on the Exposure Bill can be accessed [HERE]
Water Sharing Plans (WSPs) have been developed for surface water and groundwater systems across New South Wales following the introduction of the Water Management Act 2000. The WSPs establish rules for sharing water between different types of water users and licence categories.
The NSW Government is currently developing 22 Water Resource Plans for NSW’s Murray-Darling Basin region which are a requirement of the Commonwealth Basin Plan 2012. The NSW Water Resource Plans will incorporate the NSW Water Sharing Plans and commence in 2019.
The WaterNSW Act 2014 defines the functions and objectives of WaterNSW.
The prime objectives of WaterNSW under the Act are:
- to capture, store and release water in an efficient, effective, safe and financially responsible manner, and
- to supply water in compliance with appropriate standards of quality, and
- to ensure that declared catchment areas and water management works in such areas are managed and protected so as to promote water quality, the protection of public health and public safety, and the protection of the environment, and
- to provide for the planning, design, modelling and construction of water storages and other water management works, and
- to maintain and operate the works of WaterNSW efficiently and economically and in accordance with sound commercial principles.
The Natural Resource Access Regulator Act 2017 establishes the Natural Resources Access Regulator (Regulator) as a statutory corporation with the functions of enforcing natural resources management legislation in NSW.
The Act authorises the Regulator to exchange information and records that relate to the administration of natural resources management regulation between the regulator and other agencies or entities (including WaterNSW) that are responsible for the administration of that legislation. In addition, the Act provides for the transfer of compliance and enforcement staff in WaterNSW to any Public Service Agency in which the staff of the Regulator are employed or in which persons are employed in connection with the administration of natural resources management legislation.
Originally issued as the Government Pricing Tribunal Act in July 1992, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992 was substantially amended and renamed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992 (IPART Act) in January 1996. It establishes the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s with the primary responsibilities:
- Regulating prices and reviewing the pricing policies of government monopoly services, including the maximum prices that can be charged by declared public water utilities for water services in the NSW metropolitan areas and rural water services.
- Undertaking reviews as required in relation to industry, pricing and competition
- Arbitrating access disputes in relation to public infrastructure access regimes
- Registering access agreements
- Making recommendations towards and monitoring compliance and reporting in relation to water, Distribution network Service Providers and gas reticulate licences.
- Investigating complaints under New South Wales’ competitive neutrality regime.