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Restrictions on water use

Water is a scarce and precious resource. People who take water from our rivers must follow the rules so that water use in the Murray–Darling Basin is sustainable, while leaving enough water to sustain communities and natural ecosystems.

State governments are responsible for ensuring state compliance systems are effective, and for enforcing the rules, while the MDBA has an overarching role to regulate the regulators and to help water users understand relevant water laws.

Embargoes in the northern Basin are imposed by the New South Wales state government to protect important river flows by prohibiting access to that water, except for purposes specifically exempted, for example, for increased town water supplies.

We work with the Basin states to encourage water users to comply with embargoes to ensure that flows are protected.

For information about restrictions, access to water and licencing, visit the relevant state authority website: 

Updated: 06 Mar 2020