Groundwater is a complex and often very fragile resource which plays an important role in natural ecosystems.
Groundwater sources (also known as aquifers) can be accessed by different works such as a bore, well, spearpoint or excavation. An approval or licence must be held to construct any of these works.
Licensing groundwater works, and monitoring the levels of extraction, helps us to sustainably manage our groundwater sources, protecting their quality and the ecosystems that depend on them.
Data gained from drilling a bore is collated in a database of groundwater works in NSW which provides information on the location, quantities and quality of water in the aquifer and the local geology.
Records on existing groundwater works, including bores, wells and excavations can be found at the following locations.
If you want to take groundwater that is managed by a water sharing plan, the Water Management Act 2000 requires landholders to hold:
If you want to take groundwater that is not managed by a water sharing plan, the Water Act 1912 requires landholders to hold:
If you want to take groundwater that is for domestic and stock use and your land overlies the aquifer, the Water Management Act 2000 requires all landholders to hold:
If you are engaging a driller, you are responsible for ensuring that the bore is drilled by a person who holds a current NSW driller's licence. Additionally, the licence class must be appropriate for the type of drilling to be undertaken. More info on licence classes.