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The topics in this theme describe how water resources are used in NSW and the condition of freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Water Resources

Following high flows in most rivers during 2016–17, conditions have become drier.

Graphic of trees, hill and river

Environmental water share

2,482 GL

in 2016–17, a 50-fold increase from 10 years ago

River Health

The overall condition of rivers across NSW is rated as moderate.

Graphic of three fish in water

Fish communities


of NSW river valleys are rated 'poor' or worse


A return to drier weather conditions from 2017 has affected some wetland areas and waterbird breeding, but has been mitigated in those inland communities receiving environmental water.

Water reeds graphic

Wetland area of eastern Australia


ha in 2017, this was below the long-term median of 235,000 ha


Overall extractions from all NSW metered groundwater sources are mostly within the long-term average annual extraction limits.

Groundwater pumping graphic

Water use in NSW


comes from groundwater sources

Coastal, Estuarine and Marine Ecosystems

Water quality and ecosystem health in the marine environment is generally good.

Beach with umbrella graphic

Recreational water quality


of monitored swimming sites scored very good or good for recreational water quality in 2016–17