Bureau Home » Water Information » National Water Account » 2018 Account » Sydney » Supporting information » Water access and use

National Water Account 2018

Sydney: Water access and use

  • Most of the region's water allocations were for urban supply, primarily for residential use.
  • Water use was higher than last year due to drier conditions across the region.

 

SYD_KeyMessage

 

For further information on water rights and water use within the Sydney region during the year scroll down this page or click on the links below:

  

Water rights and use

 

Surface water rights

 

Figure S10 Surface water allocations and diversions in the Sydney region for the years ending 30 June, from 2012–2018
Figure S10 Surface water allocations and diversions in the Sydney region for the years ending 30 June, from 2012–2018

 

  • Surface water allocations for individual users and the urban water system remained unchanged from the previous year. These allocations generally change little from year to year.
  • Allocated diversion to the urban water system increased from last year due to an increased demand from customers in response to the drier conditions across the region.
  • Actual diversion to individual users decreased from last year, despite the very dry conditions.

 

Figure S11 Surface water allocation to individual users for each licence purpose for the 2016–18 year
Figure S11 Surface water allocation to individual users for each licence purpose for the 2016–18 year

 

  • Around 13% of the total surface water allocated was for individual users. These licences primarily relate to water diversions for other lumped holders.

 

Groundwater rights

  • Groundwater entitlements represent a small portion of the total water entitlements in the region.
  • Groundwater extractions made under these entitlements are not presented in the account as they could not be reliably estimated.

 

Cultural and environmental water

 

Environmental and cultural benefit

Environmental and cultural water provisions

  • Provisions to protect the environmental and cultural values of water systems are defined in the region's water sharing plans.
  • The main mechanisms to maintain surface water for environmental and cultural benefit are annual diversion limits, daily access rules, and environmental flow release requirements from water storages.
  • The main mechanisms to maintain groundwater for environmental and cultural benefit are annual extraction limits and restrictions on water supply works near environmentally and culturally sensitive sites.
  • For more detail, refer to the Water management note and the water sharing plans for the Greater Metropolitan Region Unregulated River Water Sources and Groundwater Sources.

 

Environmental and cultural water outcomes 

Figure S12 Surface water environmental flow releases in 2017–18
Figure S12 Surface water environmental flow releases in 2017–18

 

  • In 2017–18, environmental flow releases totalling 103,092 ML were made at 11 river locations in the region. Due to persistent dry conditions since January 2017, the total volume released was only 40% of that released in the previous year.
  • The largest environmental release, representing about 74% of the total, occurred in the Shoalhaven River below Tallowa Dam (Lake Yarrunga).