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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand there is lots to learn about the water market and related industries. Throughout this website you will find collections of the most frequently asked questions. This page contains them all.


All FAQs

How Much Water am I Allocated?

The volume of water allocated in a given year can change depending on the amount granted by the appropriate water authority. You can check your current allocation here.

What is the difference between my water entitlement and water allocation?

There are two main types of water rights traded in the Murray-Darling Basin: water entitlements and water allocations.

Water entitlements are the total amount of water you own, allowing you to receive a certain volume of water during a season.

Water allocations are the percentage of a water entitlement that can be taken from the water source in that year. This can vary from year to year.

When Does the Water Season Start and Finish?

The water season runs from the 1st of July to the 30th of June.

What are my Water Rights?

The Australian Government manages our water resources through issuing ‘rights’ (licenses, allocations, entitlements) to manage and control water use.

Water rights define how much water you are entitled to in a fully allocated year, where your water can be used, and any limitations on your licence.

If you have questions and queries regarding the water rights within your region, contact us today!

How Does Water Trading Work in Australia?

Waterfind makes water trading easy, where you can buy or sell water using our 24/7 online platform. You can also talk to your dedicated water account manager, and they can handle the process for you.

What is Water Trading?

With water being a limited and valuable resource, water trading encourages efficient water use by allowing it to be used where it’s needed most. Water trading is the act of selling your water allocation (temporarily) or entitlement (permanently) to another eligible water licence holder.

What is the Process?

Leases are established through our quality assured contracts which clearly specifies the rights and obligations of each party, the lease fees and the payment terms.

Waterfind will provide transfer documents, administer the lease from the commencement year through to the final year and manage all financial settlements through the use of our independently audited trust account.

Why Would I Want to Lease Water?

With the continual increase in value of Water Entitlements, water users are looking for alternative ways to lock in their water requirements, aside from holding the entitlement themselves due to the high capital requirements.

As a lessor – you get a guaranteed return for a fixed term. You also still own the entitlement, but you don’t have the rights to use it.

As a lessee – you can secure water, long-term for a known price.

What is the Process?

Leases should all be established through a contractual arrangement which clearly specifies the rights and obligations of each party, the lease fees and the payment terms.

In addition to the contract, application forms need to be submitted to the relevant water authority to formalise the arrangement. The time to establish a formal lease depends on the jurisdiction however it generally takes a minimum of 4 weeks.

Why Would I Want to Lease Water?

With the continual increase in value of Water Entitlements, water users are looking for alternative ways to lock in their water requirements, aside from holding the entitlement themselves.

As a lessor – you get a guaranteed return for a fixed term plus you still own the parcel but you don’t have the rights to use it.

 As a lessee – you can secure water, long-term for a known price.

How can I Register my Interest?

To register your interest Contact Waterfind and your market specialist will complete the necessary forms on your behalf.

When does Registration of Interest Open?

Applications will be available on the 1st of November and will conclude on the 30th of November.

How does the Tender process work?

The opportunity to buy new shares in these groundwater sources has a limited number of shares available in each groundwater source. Available shares in these groundwater sources will be offered in order of highest to lowest bids until all shares are exhausted.

How many water sources are included in the Controlled Allocation Tender?

There are 47 Water sources for you to bid on. You can view the full listing in the NSW Government Gazette here.

What is a Controlled Allocation?

A controlled allocation provides a right to acquire a water access licence for a specified water source (often Groundwater Sources) by auction in an order published in the Government Gazette.

What can you do with your additional water?

Once you have access to your updated WEE and ABA statements you are free to use or sell the entitlement as you decide. This includes selling the allocation on the temporary market or selling part of or all of the additional entitlement.

When will irrigators be able access this additional water?

Irrigators will receive either an email or mailed letter between 16 and 31 October stating that they have new WEEs (one for High Reliability entitlement and another for Low Reliability entitlement), with the additional water applied to them. These WEEs will be automatically attached to the ABA if possible, otherwise a new ABA number will be given. Irrigators will be able to access any water allocations accrued against these entitlements since 1 July 2021.

Who is eligible to receive additional entitlement under this project? 

You are an eligible GMID delivery share holder if at 1 October 2021, you hold delivery share within any of the six areas of the GMID and pay the common Infrastructure Access Fee (IAF).

Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District delivery shareholders with 0.25 ML/day or more of delivery share will be issued with water shares. Customers with less than 0.25 ML/day of delivery share will see financial benefits equivalent to the value of water shares as a credit on their GMW fixed charges bill in July 2022. Find out how much you are entitled to here. 

How much water is being distributed?

The Connections Program delivered works to achieve 429 gigalitres (GL) long-term average annual yield (LTAAY). Of this, 77 GL has been made available for distribution to eligible Goulburn-Murray delivery shareholders.

What is the Forward Market?

The Forward Water Market is a mechanism which enables clients to plan for future irrigation requirements thus removing uncertainty around their requirements. Waterfind's unique and innovative Forward Water Market is an extension of the current spot market, enabling the contracting of temporary or permanent water parcels at a set price to be delivered at a future date, to be determined by the seller and purchaser.

What is a Permanent Trade?

Similar to the sale of land, a transfer of permanent water is the transfer of the water entitlement to the purchaser on a permanent basis. The purchaser will retain the parcel and receive any allocation granted upon it from the date of the transfer indefinitely or until the time at which they sell the entitlement.

What is a Temporary Trade?

A temporary transfer is a transfer of water specifically for the irrigation season. Although temporary transfers are solely transfers of allocation between New South Wales and Victoria, Queensland and South Australia both have the means of transferring an entitlement on a temporary basis, whereby the water is transferred for the current irrigation season and the purchaser is the beneficiary of any increase in allocation from the date of the transfer.

Do I need to have my water valued?

Water license holders are required to report the value of their assets, either annually like SMSF’s, or for a listed company it must report the value of the water asset on a monthly basis as a requirement of the ASX. This can also be valuable if you want to know the true value of your license.

Who are valuation reports best suited for?

Waterfind’s valuation reports are available to all users, with and without a water license and best suited for entitlement holders, Farmers, Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF), publicly listed companies and people interested in investing in water entitlements.

Extra requirements and information matching a sale

Sales recognition is payable at settlement of the forward trade. Where a client has bought water for delivery in a future water season, transfer forms will not be sent until the 1st of July of that new water season. ‘Delivery date’ is the date that the transfer is lodged with the water authorities, not when the Purchaser will receive the water. Regular water authority approval times apply.

  1. Add a buy order or sell order to our online water market.
  2. Buy or sell directly from that order
  3. Parcels will not automatically match on the market if both orders are listed separately
What are the contractual requirements?

Forward Buy/Sell Orders can be generated from the CRM by selecting the ‘Forward’ option. Due to the additional requirements in a
Forward Market contract, SMS/email confirmation cannot be used for these transactions. The SMS link option can be used.

What are the payment terms?

When purchasing water on the Forward Market, the following payment terms apply:

  • 20% Deposit (+ fees/commission) payable within 7 Days.
  • Final payment required 14 Days prior to the delivery date.

Deposit and conveyancing fees are due within 7 days of a signed contract. Any outstanding balance, government and water authority fees will be due no less than 14 days prior to the delivery date.

Who can use the Forward Market?

Almost anyone can use the Forward Market, however your account needs to be approved for Forward Market transactions before you can use the facility.

We also need to ensure we have advised of additional requirements when acting in the Forward Market. We will work with you to review your trading history before approving your account.

How to use the Forward Water Market?

The live Forward Water Market can be accessed through your online account, or by contacting one our team to create an account. You can log in to your account to access the market, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Each water trading license will need to be approved for use by our team.

Why use Forward Market?

Forward Markets provide flexibility for security in future water seasons, helping you plan ahead with your water requirements to:

  • Secure a portion or all of your water requirements and plan purchases closer to use or for the coming season
  • Decrease risk in the water market by entering the Forward Market, based on assumptions of a drier coming year, reduced allocations and increased price of temporary transfers
  • Guarantee a price and volume that meets your individual requirements
  • Minimize risk of spill
  • Secure dates for lodgement of water trades
  • Manage cashflow and purchases around availability
What is the Forward Market?

The 'Forward Market' allows clients to sell/buy allocation water at a later date in the current water season or in future water season.

How does Long Term Leasing work?

The Lessee receives complete access to the entitlement for the duration of the lease, assumes all risks associated with seasonal allocations. Additionally, the Lessee pays an amount per ML of entitlement per annum regardless of what the seasonal allocations are.

i.e., If a Lessee has leased 100ML of water entitlement for $200 per ML per annum, the price will be $200 per ML regardless of whether the entitlement receives 100% seasonal allocations or 20%.

The seasonal allocations and carryover functionality associated with the entitlement is granted to the Lessee in exchange for paying a fee to the Lessor and all outgoings associated with the entitlement.

What is Long Term Leasing?

A lease of water is similar to the lease of land in the terms that it is an agreement between two parties to lease an agreed parcel for a price and a term. In comparison to the temporary market, long term leasing allows you to lock in a guaranteed price for a fixed term, rather than being exposed to fluctuations in price on the spot market.

How do I decide to use Carryover?

The decision to use carryover water will depend on your irrigation needs, carryover abilities and the level of risk you are willing to take. It is ultimately your decision on the risk you will take on whether to use carryover or to swap the risk of water-stressed crops for the risk of a spill.

Having access to timely information such as the risk of water-stressed crops and the risk of low water allocations is critical when you make decisions on your ability to carryover. We can help you by providing information on your carryover ability and advice on carryover markets.

How can I calculate my Carryover?

You can use the carryover calculator to test scenarios and get a better understanding of how carryover and spillable water will work in your situation.

What is the risk of a spill?

Having an understanding of the risk of low allocations, and an understanding of the way carryover works, the next thing to understand is the risk of a spill. Risk of a spill is when water spills over if dams fill up and storage space is needed for inflows to support allocations. When the dam spills, some of the spillable water is lost to make way for new allocations to all water shares. This water is recorded in your allocation account as spillable water to keep track of your carryover and allocation stored above 100 per cent of your water entitlement. You will only lose water if the dams spill to make room for inflows for new allocations.

With a spill, there is no guarantee of access to water above your full entitlement, you only have the security of access to water up the full volume of your water share(s). You cannot use or trade your spillable water until a low risk of spill declaration is made by the water authority in your state. The greater the volume you carryover as a percentage of your water share volume, the more exposed you are to the risk of a spill. Water carried over against high-reliability water shares is more exposed to the risk of the spill than water carried over against low-reliability water shares.

When to use Carryover?

Carryover can be used when you may not get enough water allocations in the next water season (dry to extremely dry conditions) to get your crop off to a good start or finish. For example, you could decide to use carryover if the weather turns wet and you want to carry over your unused water into the next season, as long as it does not impact your following season water allocations. As a general guideline, if the outlook for allocations is lower, then it is more important to consider using carryover.

Is Carryover available in my state?

Carryover is not available on all licences and is subject to regulations and rules as specified by each state.

Carryover rules vary for each state and are necessary to make sure that water carried over does not lock up space in the dams that are needed for the inflows to support allocations to all entitlements.

New South Wales
For carryover rules for New South Wales regions can be found in the relevant Water Sharing Plan.

Read the Victoria Carryover Insight Factsheet

South Australia
Eligible to SA Class 3 entitlement owners only.
Learn more about Private Carryover in SA here.

Contact one of our experienced consultants and learn how our online Water Market 24/7 personalised feed can benefit your business today.

Register for Water Market Today