The Greater Sydney Water Catchment provides water to the Sydney, Wollongong and Macarthur regions.

A catchment is an area in which rain water is collected and diverted into a storage system. In the Sydney Catchment, rain water fills the swamps and rivulets, which feed into large capacity dams.

Over 60 per cent of the population of NSW receives their water from this catchment system.

Find out which dam supplies your community

The pristine nature of these areas are important for the quantity and quality of our water supply. When upland swamps are in good health, they soak up rain water like a sponge and filter it through plants and microorganisms.

For this reason, Special Areas of the catchment are off limits to the general public. Individuals can be fined up to $40,000 for unlawfully entering these areas.

However, industrial activities occurring in and around the catchment are causing significant levels of damage to the system.

Both the quantity and the quality of the water is being adversely affected by coal mining operations and there is very little oversight and monitoring being conducted.

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Source: WaterNSW interactive map

For more detailed information on the Special Areas see: