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Acts, Regulations and Policies

Southern Rural Water has a number of acts, regulations and policies that may be of interest to the public.

Water Act 1989

Water Act

The Water Act 1989 (Vic) provides the legal framework for managing Victoria’s water resources. It is available online at the Victorian Law Today Library.

Water Act 1989

The main purpose of the Water Act is to:

  • promote the equitable and efficient use of our water resources
  • make sure our water resources are conserved and properly managed for the benefit of all Victorians
  • increase community involvement in conserving and managing our water resources
OHS Policy
The health, safety and welfare of our staff, contractors, visitors and community is our top priority. We will provide a safe and healthy working environment.

We maintain effective safety systems, and continually review the way we work to find and apply safer practices. All incidents can be prevented, and we aim for an incident free and zero harm workplace.

We will meet our legislative responsibilities and achieve good industry practice.

We work together to understand our risks and:

  • Eliminate them where possible, or
  • reduce them through management actions.

Each of us is responsible for safety.

OHS Policy (PDF 25 Kb)

Bulk Entitlement Orders
A Bulk Entitlement Order is the set of operating rules that exists for all reservoirs.

At Southern Rural Water (SRW) we deal with the following Bulk Entitlement Orders:

  • Latrobe
  • Maribyrnong
  • Tarago
  • Yallourn Energy
  • Werribee
  • Thomson/Macalister

Because more than one organisation or group can have shares (or entitlement) in the water being held in a reservoir, each shareholder must follow rules about:

  • The maximum volumes that can be taken from the reservoir, system or waterway.
  • Costs of managing the system, and how they are shared.

At a number of reservoirs, SRW acts as the storage manager on behalf of all shareholders.

As a storage manager, we:

    • Allocate water (both increases and decreases) according to the % shares held by shareholders.
    • Ensure that we meet the rules about passing continuous flows downstream for environmental purposes.
    • Release water to meet a shareholder’s request.

Passing flows are a vital part of our Bulk Entitlement Orders and are met before allocations.


The Act states that we have the power to make by-laws - special rules published in the Government Gazette  which apply within a specific area of Southern Rural Water's responsibility.

Since the Water Act came into operation, we have made two by-laws:

No.7 - Irrigation Period, 2011
No.9 - Recreational Areas

Statement of Obligations

This statement sets out a broad range of obligations and guiding principles applicable to all water corporations. It revokes and replaces all previous statements of obligations made and issued to a water corporation under s. 4I of the Water Industry Act 1994, with the exception of the Statement of Obligations (System Management) issued by the Minister for Water on 16 January 2015.

Statement of Obligations

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WaterMatch - online trading

Watermatch is a free online service, designed to help people trade water.

Once you have registered, you can advertise to buy or sell water.

Depending on the water that you wish to trade, choose from the Groundwater, Surface Water (rivers and creeks) and Irrigation District forum.

Select a new topic to create your ad. Your ad can be to buy or sell water, and must describe the source of your water, quantity of water you want to buy or sell, how long you want to trade for and your contact details. If you are happy to put a buying or selling price, this can be included here too.

If you want to respond to an ad, you can use the email link or contact the advertiser direct.

It is an online trading forum, and can also be used by people who are not on the internet, with help from our staff.

Watermatch allows you to register your interest in either buying or selling water in southern Victoria.

  • the Macalister, Werribee and Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District
  • Groundwater systems in southern Victoria
  • Rivers and creek systems in southern Victoria (other than those managed by Melbourne Water around the Port Phillip region).

Who can use it?
Anyone can use watermatch. You may be an existing licence holder who wants to sell water, or buy more water.

You may not currently have a licence, but you want to buy water in the region.

How does it work?

  • click here to enter Watermatch
  • register as a user (a very simple process)
  • go to the system or district you are interested in and check current entries
  • add in any entry for any water you want to sell or buy

What information should I include in my ad?

  • If you are wanting to buy or sell
  • your name
  • phone number
  • name of river, creek, groundwater management area or irrigation district
  • how much water is to be traded
  • If the trade is temporary or permanent
  • term of the trade (Maximum term is 5 years)

Things you need to know
We are always looking for ways to improve our customer service. If you would like to provide feedack or suggested improvements please click here.

it's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Trading applications must be submitted to Southern Rural Water and approval granted before water is taken. A water transfer application form can be downloaded from our application page.

If you want to trade upstream, please speak with one of our Assessment Officers prior to submitting an application.

To check if a buyer or seller can trade with you, call us on 1300 139 510 and ask to speak to an Assessment Officer.

Not a water broker

It's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Click here to download our Fact Sheet