Dealings process

Dealings process

Water Access Licence (WAL) dealings will be dealt with according to:

  • the Water Management Act 2000 and its regulations
  • the Access Licence Dealing Principles Order 2004
  • any access licence dealing principles established by the Minister
  • access licence dealing rules established by any relevant water sharing plan .

The NSW Legislation website provides copies of the Act and regulations under the Act including the Access Licence Dealing Principles Order 2004 and water sharing plans.

The trading of water licences out of, into and within water sources can be a mechanism for both environmental and economic improvements. The Act, together with the access licence dealing principles and the WAL dealing rules established by a water sharing plan, provide for when trading is allowed or restricted in certain parts. Trading between regulated, unregulated and groundwater sources is not permitted. Trading between some unregulated and groundwater sources may be permitted.

In some cases, a dealing application form must be accompanied by the WAL certificate before any transactions or dealings can be undertaken.

A WAL must nominate a work supply work approval to enable the extraction of water.

Generally, most dealings will take effect when registered in the WAL Register.

Pre-application searches

When purchasing or selling a WAL it is important you check:

  • WAL details – including the current holders, encumbrances and any notifications.        
    • Search the WAL Register administered by NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) for detailed information about WALs.
  • WAL conditions
  • water allocation account statements – including the current water allocation account balance and outstanding charges.        
    • Use the internet Water Accounting System (iWAS) administered by WaterNSW for water account information for WALs, regulated rivers and major inland groundwater systems.

Fees apply for WAL searches and water allocation account statements.

Contracts of sale and purchase

Contracts are recommended for transfers of a WAL, assignment (sale) of share component or a term transfer. Contracts are also advisable for assignments of a water allocation.

If you are using an intermediary such as a water broker, you may want to confirm they have appropriate trust and fiduciary arrangements.

Submitting an application

All holders of the WAL must authorise the application.

You do not need consent from WaterNSW to transfer the holder or for term transfer of a WAL, unless consent is specifically required by the Water Management (General) Regulation 2011. These dealings only require registration with NSW LRS on the WAL Register, once the sale or term transfer has been settled.

Applications for a water allocation assignment must be lodged with WaterNSW.

Ensure the relevant application form is completed and submitted, with your application fee.

How is the application processed and assessed?

For applications lodged with WaterNSW, completed applications will be registered on the WaterNSW database. Processing of the application will be delayed if further information is required. If this information is not received within the requested time, WaterNSW may reject the application. An application may also be rejected if the WAL is currently suspended.

Applications will be assessed to ensure they are consistent with the provisions of the Water Management Act 2000, its regulations, the access licence dealing principles, and the water sharing plan access licence dealing rules. WaterNSW will provide you with a notice of determination once processing is complete. If consent is granted, WaterNSW will also provide you with the notification form for lodgement with NSW LRS.

Registration of general WAL dealings

The consent of all holders of the WAL, or in the case of a transfer of a holding, all holders of security interests registered against that holding, must be provided to NSW LRS before a general WAL dealing can be registered.

To register a term transfer relating to just a holding in the WAL (rather than the whole WAL), only the consent of the co-holders and registered security interests in that particular holding is required.

In the case of transfers and term transfers, it is the responsibility of the transferee (buyer) to register the dealing with NSW LRS.

In the case of all other general WAL dealings, it is the responsibility of the holder to register the dealing with NSW LRS.

For dealings requiring WaterNSW consent:

  • Lodge the completed notification form, notice of determination and the WAL certificate(s) with NSW LRS. The notification form and notice of determination are prepared by WaterNSW and given to the customer for lodgement.
  • If the WAL certificate is held by a secured interest holder, arrangements should be made with the secured interest holder to make the certificate available at NSW LRS.
  • Consents are required from all secured interest holders recorded on the WAL title for registration of dealings.

For dealings not requiring WaterNSW consent:

  • Lodge the completed forms (originals) and the WAL certificate at NSW LRS.
  • If the WAL certificate is held by a secured interest holder, arrangements should be made with the secured interest holder to make the certificate available at NSW LRS.

WAL dealings only become legally effective from the date they are registered on the WAL Register.

After a general WAL dealing is registered, NSW LRS will issue the next edition of the certificate or, in the case of subdivisions, consolidations and change in category, a new WAL certificate. As noted above, NSW LRS charges fees for registering dealings and issuing the new or updated WAL certificate.

Registration of water allocation assignments

Water allocation assignment dealings take effect from the time the water allocation accounts of the buyer and seller are adjusted.


Wednesday 16 June
2,480,361 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,179 ML
1,312 ML
-742 ML
Wednesday 16 June