Change access licence

Change access licence

Application form: Changing a Water Access Licence (WAL)

There are three change options dealt with below:

  • Changing a nominated work (including interstate tagging)
  • Changing a water management zone
  • Changing a category (subject to the relevant water sharing plan rules).

Details on the processes for this dealing are provided in dealings process and in the guide provided with the application form.

Changing a nominated work – where a WAL can be used (s.71W Water Management Act 2000)

This dealing covers:

  • change of nominated work with the WAL water source
  • nominating a work in another water source (intra-state tagging)
  • interstate tagging – nominating an interstate tagging zone on your WAL.

A WAL specifies the nominated water supply works used to extract water and, in some cases, a zone within the water sharing plan. To move the extraction point for a WAL you hold or one you have recently purchased to another location or to redistribute a WAL among your properties, you will need to change the works and possibly the zone nominated on the WAL.

If this is associated with the sale of a WAL, once the 'change location' dealing has been approved by WaterNSW, the change can be registered at the same time as the holder transfer.

There are several common situations for changing the location where a WAL can be used:

  1. You want to purchase or term transfer a WAL and move it to your property.
  2. You own more than one property in a zone (or water source if there are no zones) and wish to extract water under the one WAL at two or more locations.

To allow a WAL to be used at a new or another location, a change to the nominated water supply works, or the zone specified on the WAL, may also be required.

If you are thinking of buying or term transferring a WAL and moving it to another location, you may prefer to request that the vendor obtain consent for the move from WaterNSW before finalising the contract. If consent is given, you can register both the transfer of holder or term transfer and the change of location at the same time.

Do I need consent from other people?

As part of the application to change the WAL, you need to obtain the written consent of:

  • all holders of the WAL (if held by more than one person), as well as,
  • the holders of the water supply work approvals that are being added to the WAL, if the WAL holder is not the approval holder.

When registering the change at NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS), the consent of the holders of all registered security interests in the WAL (mortgages and company charges held by a bank or other lending institution) will also be required.

Changing a water management zone – where a WAL can be used (s.71S Water Management Act 2000)

Water sharing plans may subdivide water sources into water management zones to enable an appropriate level of management of trading and extraction rules. Where zones apply, the WAL extraction component will specify with which zone the WAL is associated. Typically, the WAL can only nominate works within that zone.

Depending on the rules, this dealing can be used to change the zone specified in the licence from which water can be taken under the licence. A change of zone would usually be accompanied with a change of nominated work, using the same application form.

Changing a category – conversion of a WAL to a new category (s.71O Water Management Act 2000)

On the application of the holder of a WAL, WaterNSW may consent to the cancellation of a WAL and grant a new WAL of a different category or subcategory. This does not apply to a local water utility or supplementary WAL.

The resulting WAL may only be granted in relation to the same water source or the same water management area as the cancelled WAL. Conversion factors may apply and may require amendment of the share component of the WAL.

If an application for a change in the category of a WAL is granted, the Minister will cancel the existing WAL and issue a new WAL with the new category, subject to:

  • the application of a conversion factor established by the Minister and published in an Order made under section 71Z of the Act that protects environmental water, domestic and stock rights, native title rights and the reliability of supply to all other WALs in this water source (see Note 1 below)
  • the volume of water in the existing WAL water allocation account being equal to the maximum sum of available water determinations permitted (100 per cent).

Note 1: WALs for only three water sources have been gazetted under the above provisions (the Hunter, Murray and Murrumbidgee water sources) as eligible for the conversion. However, the gazettal notice for conversion of WALs in these water sources was revoked by an order published in the NSW Government Gazette 4 July 2008.


Saturday 06 June
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Saturday 06 June