Groundwater Licence - New South Wales

Service summary

You will require this licence if you intend to drill for groundwater. This includes extracting groundwater via any type of bore, well, spearpoint or groundwater interception scheme. You cannot sink a bore, or enlarge, deepen or alter a bore unless you hold this licence.

A licence will authorise you to drill for groundwater in a specific location on your land. If you intend to carry out drilling work on other land on behalf of other property owners, you will require a driller's licence.

Embargo orders apply in some areas. Where an embargo order applies, an application cannot be lodged unless it fits within one of the specified exemptions. Additional restrictions on drilling apply in water shortage zones.

This licence only applies to water sources (rivers, lakes and groundwater aquifers) in NSW where water sharing plans have not commenced.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence, you must:

  • Complete the relevant application form;
  • Provide details as to how, the rate and quantity and estimated annual quantity at which the water will be removed and the purposes for the removal or taking of the water;
  • Provide any other information required by the Agency; and
  • Pay any required fees for an investigation and inquiry in regards to the licence.

Due to the potentially restrictive and extensive nature of the conditions of this licence, please consult with the Contact Officer in the first instance.


The purpose of the licence will determine the length of the licence.



Artesian bore.

Application$151.00Non-artesian bore.
TransferTransfer$275.00Permanent transfer.
Transfer$90.00Temporary transfer.

Other resources

Comply Fees under the Water Act 1912 Opens in a new browser window

Administering agency

Department of Industry
NSW Department of Primary Industries
NSW Office of Water

Act(s) name

Water Act 1912 (New South Wales)

Regulation(s) name

Water (Part 2 - General) Regulation 1997 (New South Wales)

Contact details

General Enquiries, Water Licensing
Department of Industry
NSW Department of Primary Industries
NSW Office of Water

Operating address:
Level 10,
Macquarie Tower
New South Wales 2124
Mailing address:
Locked Bag 5123
New South Wales 2124


02 8281 7777


1800 353 104


02 8281 7799

Supporting information


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