Groundwater Licence - New South Wales


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
  • 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.


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Amount Description
Apply Application All $48.00

Artesian bore.

Apply Application All $151.00 Non-artesian bore.


Act(s) name

Water Act 1912 New South Wales

Regulation(s) name

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

Administering agency

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

NSW Department of Primary Industries

NSW Office of Water

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

General Enquiries, Water Licensing

NSW Office of Water

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Operating address: Level 10,
Macquarie Tower
New South Wales 2124
Mailing address: Locked Bag 5123
New South Wales 2124
Toll Free: 1800 353 104
Website: NSW Office of Water (Opens in new window)