Impacts on New South Wales Properties

Water Rights


Water rights in water law refer to the right of a user to utilise water from a water source including a river, stream, creek, pond and sources of underground water, as well as aquifers.

With the ongoing drought conditions in most parts of NSW and Australia, and the recent Federal Government intervention, water rights are set to become a very important issue for the Australian community. Many questions have arisen lately from Surveyors and the general community, such as the transparency of ownership and use of water over parcels of land. This thesis will attempt to address these issues and more within the scope of the project.

This thesis will consider issues surrounding water rights in respect to Surveyors and speculate on how Surveyors can manage water, the most valuable resource in Australia. The author will attempt to identify some new opportunities for the Surveying Profession, as well as assisting the Surveying Profession to understand water legislation and the importance of water rights in their roles in managing this valuable natural resource.


"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water"

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746


2010 Undergraduate Thesis By Gavin Watson