In New South Wales, Water Sharing Plans (WSP) set the limits for consumptive take of water. They determine how water in the Plan area is shared between the environment and consumptive water users including basic landholder rights, towns, irrigation, and First Nations cultural purposes. The way rivers are governed may also have indirect effects, for example on recreational activities such as fishing and river-based tourism.

DPIE Water manages the review of WSP that occurs every five years. One of the requirements of this process is to update the socio-economic information that may be relevant to consider when remaking these plans.

To support this process, the Department engaged Alluvium and NCEconomics to prepare 21 reports that summarise the current socio-economic conditions and trends within each WSP region that span all of New South Wales.

These summary reports are based on analysis of relevant socio-economic indicators, using appropriate data for each WSP area and include material relating to:
• Urban and town water sources
• Water licence and access units
• Water trade
• Population
• Town-based industry
• Irrigated agriculture
• Mining
• First Nations
• Amenity values
• Tourism and recreation values

The analysis is based on existing and publicly available data and, once finalised will be published on the Department’s website.