FAQS - water trading

FAQS - water trading

Frequently Asked Questions

An application to assign water must be completed in full to ensure processing is not delayed.

A service standard for processing times has been implemented by The Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Under the service standard, the following targets will be  met for:

  • Interstate - 90% of allocation trades to and from Victoria processed within 10 business days.
  • Interstate - 90% of allocation trades to and from South Australia processed within 10 business days.
  • Intrastate - 90% of allocation trades processed within 5 business days.

WaterNSW reports against these service standards for each and every assignment application and we provide a monthly report on performance against the standards. For more information view our monthly trade statistics.

To ensure that your application is processed as quickly as possible, please contact WaterNSW on 1300 662 077 to confirm your available water balance prior to lodging an application.

WaterNSW has an allocation assignment policy that aims to:

  • Provide customers with a consistent and equitable service for each and every allocation assignment.
  • Facilitates an open and transparent water market in support of the National Water Initiative.
  • Appropriately administers the Minister’s power to determine allocation assignments under sections 71T and 71V of the Water Management Act 2000 (WMA2000), as conferred within the operating licence.
  • Complies with Section 71Y WMA2000 and other legal and regulatory instruments.

They are the same. An allocation assignment (formerly known as a temporary water transfer) is the assignment or transfer of current year allocation from one access licence to another.

Water access licences are treated like bank accounts. These water accounts track the actual water allocation (in megalitres) credited and debited on a daily basis. Credits to a water account include Available Water Determinations (AWDs) which are announced DPI Water and water that has been assigned into the licence through allocation assignments. Debits to water accounts include the use of water through water supply works and allocation assignments from the water account.

Water available in a water account can be assigned (or transferred) to another water account on a temporary basis (for that season). This assignment or dealing has no permanent effect on the share component of the licence. Allocation assignments only affect the water allocations based on AWDs made in that water year.

Contact WaterNSW customer information centre between 8.00am and 5.00pm, weekdays on 1300 662 077. Alternatively, access your water accounts via iWAS.

Yes. It is the responsibility of the seller to notify WaterNSW in writing of the agreed price of the water (refer Section12.48 of the MDBA Water Trading Guidelines).

Yes. Customer application fee payments for Water Trades should now be made securely via the Westpac PayWay website.

No. If your application is refused your fee will not be returned. You will need to lodge a new form and pay a second fee for assessment and approval. WaterNSW encourages customers to take care when completing allocation assignment forms.

Customers must take their time and ensure their application is complete and accurate. Page two of the application form has been developed to guide customers in correctly completing their allocation assignment forms. Lodgement details, a guide to processing times and information on amending or withdrawing      an application are all covered.

WaterNSW staff can assist you with information on your water account balances and rules relating to your valley/region. WaterNSW cannot advise on what is right for your business. We encourage you to seek advice from an experienced broker or other professional adviser.

No. You can only trade water from a high security or general security water licence.

No. You can only trade water from a groundwater aquifer licence.

Yes. The nominated holder of the licence will be notified in writing when the application has been finalised. If an application has been lodged on your behalf by an agent, the agent will be notified.

You must notify WaterNSW in writing if you wish to withdraw your application. Consent to withdraw the application must be provided by both buyer and seller or your nominated agent.

Sellers are encouraged to submit current meter readings with each application. Please be aware of any un-finalised applications you may have already lodged with WaterNSW or any water orders still outstanding.

When using a broker, it is reasonable to expect that your broker or agent has the expertise to help you gather the information necessary to lodge a correct and complete  application.

Brokers should also be able to advise on trading rules that apply and whether your trade will comply with water trading rules. Applications that do not comply will be declined.

You should also expect that your broker will promptly lodge your application with the seller's water corporation and swiftly resolve any problems with your application.

If you have concerns about your trade, you should check with your water broker in the first instance to confirm the status of your transaction with WaterNSW.


Wednesday 01 April
2,152,891 ML
2,596,150 ML
9,146 ML
1,307 ML
11,951 ML
Wednesday 01 April