Water License:

A water licence is an authority granted under the Water Act 2000 (PDF, 2.7MB) to:

  • take water
  • interfere with water; or
  • a single combined water licence to authorise both the interference and take of water where these two activities are inextricably linked.

You may also require an authorisation to construct works under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

This guide explains when a water licence is needed and how to make a water licence application. It also explains how to make submissions in response to public notices of water licence applications and how to access information about water entitlements.

Recent changes to legislation means you can now apply for one or more dealings in a single transaction.

Important: Make sure you have the required licence and that you follow its conditions before you take or interfere with water


Water Allocations:

Unlike Water permits and Licenses , Water Allocations are a tradeable right, both the permanent right which includes a transfer of title and normally involves significant sums of money, and the seasonal allocation assigned to that Water Allocation is able be traded, this is called a seasonal transfer. Each water allocation holder has a nominal volume which is topped up each year on the 1st July similar to the fiscal year. ( assuming seasonal factors are taken into account i.e droughts, floods which can impact on the announced allocation of water in each water year.

Water allocations provide water access entitlement holders with the volume of water that can be used or traded in each water year. The allocation will depend on seasonal conditions and particular regulations. Water allocations are the responsibility of States and Territories.

Water Allocations are recorded on the Water Allocations Register.

This is an accurate and secure register that records water allocation ownership and other attributes of water allocations.

It is similar to how the Land Registry records details of land ownership and dealings. Other interests and encumbrances, such as financial securities or caveats and settlement notices, may also be recorded against the water allocation on the register.

The Registrar of Land Titles is also the Registrar of Water Allocations.

To have effect, all permanent water allocation dealings must be lodged and registered on the Water Allocation Register. This process is similar to and uses the same forms as land transfers.

Information on a water allocation title

A water allocation title records:

  • the names of the holder(s) and tenancy arrangements
  • a description of the registered, resource-related attributes
  • identifiers such as lot, crown plan and title reference
  • registered and unregistered dealings
  • encumbrances and interests (e.g. mortgages)
  • administrative advices (e.g. settlement notices)

Like land, a water allocation may be described by referring to:

  • the lot on plan number, which is used as the water allocation number (e.g. Lot 777)
  • the administrative or Crown Plan (AP) number assigned to each water plan (e.g. AP6688)
  • its unique title reference (e.g. 46008989)