Trading water

Access important dates, application forms and frequently asked questions about water trading.

Trading water

Water sharing plans in NSW allow the trade of allocation water subject to some conditions. Select the water type you wish to trade and follow the three easy steps listed in the pop-out window.

WaterNSW will not accept requests to backdate or amend a water allocation trade application after the season close date.

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2023-24 season closing dates

In accordance with the relevant valley water sharing plans (WSPs), please note the following season close dates for water allocation trading:

  • Murrumbidgee Regulated Water Interstate – 11:59pm 30 April 2024
  • NSW Murray and Lower Darling Regulated River Interstate – 11:59pm 30 April 2024
  • Murrumbidgee Regulated Intravalley – 11:59pm 30 June 2024
  • All other Regulated Water, Groundwater and Unregulated Water (unless otherwise noted) - 11:59pm 30 June 2024

WaterNSW will not accept customer requests to backdate or amend a water allocation trade application after the above season close dates.

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Regulated water trade application form

Important information before completing your application

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Please ensure you read the following as it may impact your application.

  • The Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Act 2023 (CTH) has recently passed, which removes 'grandfathered' tagged water entitlements. From 1 July 2024, the changes introduced mean that all tagged water entitlements that were issued before 22 October 2010 will be subject to the same restrictions as other water entitlement holders in terms of water allocation trade. For more information, please read our Grandfathered tag status frequently asked questions (FAQs)  (PDF, 82.43 KB)

Step 1: Download and complete the application form

Use this form to buy and sell water within a regulated river system under the Water Management Act 2000.  

Form 71 for surface water assignment

Please download a separate allocation assignment form for each trade to avoid duplicate applications.

Step 2: Pay the application processing fee

There is an application fee of $56.16 (GST free) for each application to assign regulated surface water.

Make a payment via credit card (PayWay).

WaterNSW now requires the payment of variable usage charges for all allocation assignments involving a buyer licence not linked to a NSW Works Approval.

Applicants should note that the variable usage charge will be based on the valley of use. Variable usage charges should be included with the transfer fee on application.

Please contact our Customer Service Centre to confirm the usage charge in your valley prior to lodging your application.

Step 3: Submit the application form

Applications can be emailed or mailed to the address below.

Email water.trade@waternsw.com.au

WaterNSW
PO Box 453
DENILIQUIN NSW 2710

For any enquiries, please contact our Customer Service Centre.

If you are emailing your application make sure you send each application separately to ensure that no forms are missed. It is also a good idea to include your SWC reference number in the subject line of the email so that we can identify your trade quickly if you need to enquire about its progress.

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Unregulated water trade application form
Important information before completing your application

information blue icon

Please ensure you read the following as it may impact your application.

  • The Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Act 2023 (CTH) has recently passed, which removes 'grandfathered' tagged water entitlements. From 1 July 2024, the changes introduced mean that all tagged water entitlements that were issued before 22 October 2010 will be subject to the same restrictions as other water entitlement holders in terms of water allocation trade. For more information, please read our Grandfathered tag status frequently asked questions (FAQs)  (PDF, 82.43 KB)

Step 1: Download and complete the application form

Use this form to buy and sell water within an unregulated source under the Water Management Act 2000. 

Form 71 for unregulated water assignment

Please download a separate allocation assignment form for each trade to avoid duplicate applications.

Step 2: Pay the application processing fee

There is a $56.87 (GST free) application fee for each application to assign unregulated water.

Make a payment via credit card (PayWay).

Where can I find more details about these fees?

The above fee structure has been set in accordance with the relevant IPART Water Pricing determinations.

Details of the fee and IPART determination can be found on the fees and charges page.

Step 3: Submit the application form

Applications can be emailed or mailed to the address below.

Email water.trade@waternsw.com.au

WaterNSW
PO Box 453
DENILIQUIN NSW 2710

For any enquiries, please contact our Customer Service Centre.

If you are emailing your application make sure you send each application separately to ensure that no forms are missed. It is also a good idea to include your SWC reference number in the subject line of the email so that we can identify your trade quickly if you need to enquire about its progress.

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Groundwater trade application form

Important information before completing your application

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Please ensure you read the following as it may impact your application.

Third-party consent

  • WaterNSW has recently completed a review into the third-party consent process for groundwater trades. The outcome of this review means that from 1 July 2024 we will re-commence third-party consent on applicable groundwater trades with a revised process. Our revised process ensures that customer needs, privacy standards and the intent of relevant water sharing plans are met. The process will also offer impacted third-parties a clear understanding of how the temporary trade impacts extraction from their bore. Further information on the revised process will be made available here shortly. Please note that prior to 1 July 2024, groundwater trades will proceed as follows:
    • No third-party impact = trade will proceed.
    • Third-party impact = a reduced transfer amount will be offered so there is no impact on third parties bores.

End of water year information

Customers should be aware that, the water account balancing or topping up at the end of a water year (including trades received in the month of June) will be considered trade within that same water year and could be subject to an impact assessment which may result in a reduced volume or a refused application, depending on the outcome of the individual assessment.

Step 1: Download and complete the application form

Use this form to buy and sell water within a groundwater source under the Water Management Act 2000. 

Form 71 for groundwater assignment

Please download a separate allocation assignment form for each trade to avoid duplicate applications.

Step 2: Pay the application processing fee

There is a $56.87 (GST free) application fee for each application to assign groundwater.

Make a payment via credit card (PayWay).

Where can I find more details about these fees?

The above fee structure has been set in accordance with the relevant IPART Water Pricing determinations.

Details of the fee and IPART determination can be found on the fees and charges page.

Step 3: Submit the application form

Applications can be emailed or mailed to the address below.

Email water.trade@waternsw.com.au

WaterNSW
PO Box 453
DENILIQUIN NSW 2710

For any enquiries, please contact our Customer Service Centre.

If you are emailing your application make sure you send each application separately to ensure that no forms are missed. It is also a good idea to include your SWC reference number in the subject line of the email so that we can identify your trade quickly if you need to enquire about its progress.

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The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), who manage and monitor the Barmah Choke trade balance, expect the opening trade opportunity on 1 July 2024 to be approximately 56 gigalitres (GL) downstream of the Barmah Choke.

Barmah Choke Application Form 2024/2025 season 

  • This application form is to be completed for the Barmah Choke 1 July 2024 trade.
  • For this trade opportunity, WaterNSW will be accepting Barmah Choke trade applications from Friday 28 June 2024 at 12pm.
Important information before completing your application

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Please ensure you read the following as it may impact your application.

    • If you submit an application for the Barmah Choke opportunity, a trade fee will be charged*
    • If the application is unsuccessful, withdrawn or incomplete your fee will not be refunded.
    • Please be aware that applications returned for amendment will lose their place in the queue in accordance with the new protocol.
    • After the queue has been finalised on 1 July 2024, there will be no applications added to the queue and the applications will wait until next business day to be processed outside the new protocol.

    *Subject to change according to IPART pricing review.

Barmah Choke

WaterNSW and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) (Victoria) have been working together to ensure more equitable access to trade opportunities and a more unified experience for customers from both New South Wales and Victoria. The two states have implemented a new protocol for processing trade applications which will apply for the 1 July 2024 Barmah Choke trade opportunity.

Customers will experience no change to how they apply via each state’s process, but all users will have better access to the trade opportunity regardless of which state the application is lodged from.

Further information:

Water trade updates

New customer trade application obligations

From 1 July 2024, there will be new customer obligations when providing information to WaterNSW for trade transactions. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), through its Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry 2019-21 recommended mandatory reporting of prices for all tradeable water rights transactions, including irrigation rights and water delivery rights. The Federal Government accepted their recommendation and has made it a legal requirement under the Restoring our Rivers Bill 2023.

What does this change mean for me?

  • Trade and transfer application forms must be completed comprehensively and accurately, even if it is commercially sensitive, commercial in confidence, or personal information. This means you are required to state the correct reason for the trade and the accurate price paid.
  • Records that relate to reason for trade and price information that are provided to water market authorities will need to be kept by the person for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Failure to comply can result in serious civil penalties.

To ensure you remain compliant or for more information, view the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water fact sheet here.

Groundwater trade and end of water year updates

WaterNSW will now only refer ‘Groundwater 71T dealings’ (allocation assignments / temporary trades) to NSW DCCEEW where an impact assessment is required. Impact assessment referrals are made based on set guidelines.

To assist you in understanding the process and the assessment requirements, please refer to the NSW DCCEEW fact sheet.

Customers should be aware that, the water account balancing or topping up at the end of a water year (including trades received in the month of June) will be considered trade within that same water year and could be subject to an impact assessment which may result in a reduced volume or a refused application, depending on the outcome of the individual assessment.

End of water year information

We would like to remind you that the end of water year is approaching, as well as the closing of the 2023-24 allocation trading season for most water sharing plans (WSP) (unless otherwise stated above).

You have the opportunity to maximise your water account to ensure any unused water allocation (subject to the carryover rules of your WSP) is traded or used by the season closure date.

We encourage customers to submit their trade applications for the 2023-24 water year ahead of 30 June 2024 to ensure the application is processed within the standard processing timeframes and to avoid delays.

What is carryover?

Carryover is a determined volume of unused water in your account at the end of the water year according to the rules of your WSP, that will be added to your opening balance the following water year.

Carryover graphic

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Forms, fact sheets, guides

Tips for completing the allocation assignment forms

Trading water sample form

1. This is the reference number of your form. The number on each form should be unique and allows WaterNSW to quickly track the progress of your application. You will also need to use this reference when making your payment via PayWay.

2. This section is where you enter the volume and price of the water you want to assign (trade). You can check the current available balance on your licence by contacting our Customer Service Centre, or by logging into your iWAS account.

3. If the sale price is zero ($0) and permitted for a trade purpose, please enter the Trade Purpose Classification stated in Part 5. If other, please enter the reason in the box provided.

4. This is where the seller completes the details relating to their licence. Remember to indicate your authority to make the application and record the registered licence holder details of the licence. If you would like WaterNSW to notify you when the application is complete, don’t forget to include your email address.

5. If the application is being submitted by a Broker, enter the Broker’s name and email address. WaterNSW will notify the agent when the application is completed.

6. This section lists the Trade Purpose Classification. Please note, if your sale price is $0, you cannot select a purpose marked with an asterisk.

7. This is where the seller can complete their Meter Reading

You can read more about the update as well as a guide on the new changes in this how to guide.

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