Joint media release: First New South Wales water resource plan accredited

21 September 2022

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Kevin Anderson MP, New South Wales Minister for Water 


Today the Minister for the Environment and Water has formally accredited the first water resource plan from New South Wales. This marks an important step forward in delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Water resource plans are a critical component of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan. They set limits on how much water can be extracted from the system to ensure enough is available to sustain the environment.

Without accredited plans, the Inspector-General of Water Compliance has limited ability to undertake compliance activities in New South Wales to track sustainable diversion limits and ensure they are not exceeded. 

New South Wales is responsible for 20 of the 33 Basin water resource plans that were originally due to be in place in 2019. 

Once submitted by the state or territory, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority assesses the proposed water resource plans and provides a recommendation to accredit or not to accredit to the Minister for the Environment and Water. 

The New South Wales Border Rivers Alluvium Water Resource Plan is a groundwater plan that sets the rules for water extraction in the northern Border Rivers region.

It was recommended for accreditation by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority because it is consistent with the Basin Plan.

The Minister accepted this advice and has accredited the plan.

For more information on water resource plans, visit Water resource plans | Murray-Darling Basin Authority (mdba.gov.au).

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“I’m pleased to see the start of progress in NSW delivering the 20 plans that are overdue. This is an important first step towards levelling the playing field across basin jurisdictions.

“Every other jurisdiction has accredited plans in place. We’ve been waiting for NSW, who are responsible for the bulk of the water resource plans. 

“While today is a good outcome, there is more work to do. I look forward to considering the remaining 19 water resource plans once submitted and assessed.

“A further four plans are currently being formally assessed by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

“I thank Minister Anderson for his work to prioritise the submission of proposed water resource plans following our first meeting in Hay, New South Wales, back in early July.”

Quotes attributable to the New South Wales Minister for Water, Hon Kevin Anderson MP:

“NSW welcomes the accreditation of Border Rivers Alluvium Water Resource Plan and is working alongside the MDBA to have the outstanding plans submitted by the end of this year. 

“This is a positive step forward for the Basin Plan and I am confident we will reach an outcome that benefits the environment and water users throughout the Basin. 

“When it comes to managing water in NSW, my view is healthy rivers, healthy farms and healthy communities."