Sydney's water supply

Our water comes from the natural environment. Most of Sydney's drinking water is sourced from rainfall collected in lakes and rivers in NSW, protected and filtered to ensure high-quality water for all Sydneysiders.

80% of our drinking water is protected by Warragamba Dam. The name Warragamba comes from the Aboriginal words Warra and Gamba, meaning water running over rocks. It’s a testament to the beauty of this natural area.

A picturesque view of Lake Burragorang, the main source of Sydney's drinking water.

Where do we get our water from?

Our main source of drinking water comes from rainwater collected in the stunning Lake Burragorang, which sits behind Warragamba Dam. This supplies around 80% of Sydney's water supply.

Protected from most human activities for over 70 years, the Warragamba Special Area surrounds Lake Burragorang. This helps protect water quality by providing a buffer of pristine bushland. It includes national parks like Blue Mountains, Kanangra Boyd, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes, and state conservation areas and nature reserves.

Learn about our network

How do we get our water?

All water comes from nature. But, it’s how it gets to us that can have a big impact on the environment.

We take care by using the urban water cycle and the power of gravity, drawing water from many sources, so that Sydney's water supply is reliable and sustainable. Not just today, but for generations to come.

WaterNSW protects our main drinking water catchments. They use their expertise to monitor and select the best quality source water so it can be filtered by Sydney Water.

Urban water cycle
A photo of two Sydney Water employees monitoring Sydney's water source to ensure it is of the highest quality.

Water restrictions

More than 85% of Sydney's water supply relies on rain. Although rainfall has increased our water supply. Level 1 water restrictions are in place across Greater Sydney. Our water is a previous resource so we all need to do our bit and save water.

Water restrictions apply to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.