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Water Auctions and Trading

Water auctions and water trading are becoming more common across Southern Rural Water and can be a good way to gain access to extra water either for production or security.

Apply now for Groundwater in the Parwan GMU

Southern Rural Water is calling for interested parties to apply for the allocation of groundwater from the Parwan Groundwater Management Unit. To apply, you must own or occupy land with the Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District. Up to 48 ML of groundwater licences from the Parwan GMU is available to interested applicants.

What is for sale? The products for sale are section 51 “take and use” licences to be offered in lots. The licences are available for the Parwan GMU which is the lower tertiary aquifer as defined in the Victoria Aquifer Framework within the boundary shown in Figure below.

What is not for sale? Section 67 licences to construct works and operate are not being sold. The operating licences describe the site to be used and the rate at which the volume of the water licence can be taken and used. Buyers without an existing section 67 licence who need a new bore to extract the water will need to apply for one. Buyers who possess a section 67 licence may apply to alter their conditions if required. This can be done after the sale. SRW will not do bore interference assessments on each application for the nominated sites. This will be a requirement of a subsequent section 67 licence application.

Who can take part? Eligibility is restricted to those who own or occupy land within the area. (Refer Figure 1) To be eligible you must submit an application (application form appears later in this document) which meets the criteria, and supply the following information:

  • Indicate the volume being sought.
  • Provide a plan for how the water is to be used. This includes an outline of the business proposal or land to be irrigated and timeframe for development.
  • Nominate an approximate bore location.

SRW will determine who is eligible to bid at the auction based on the above requirements. Applications are open from 9 am Wednesday 30 May and close 4 pm Thursday 14 June 2018.

The sale The auction is scheduled to occur on Thursday 28 June 2018. The total volume to be sold is 48ML. We will sell licence volumes by auction in lots to the highest bidder on SRW’s website “Waterbid” srw.com.au/waterbid. Only eligible buyers will have access to the sale. Lot sizes will be announced prior to the sale. The sale will be formally advertised by Government Gazette a copy of which will be displayed in local papers. A reserve price will be set for this auction after the applications are received. The price is set to recover SRW costs associated with processing that size of application Should the bids for each lot size not reach the reserve price and be passed in, SRW will immediately contact the highest bidder to offer the sale of the lot at the greater of:

  • reserve price, or
  • the highest sale price of the same size lot,

Should the bidder choose not to take up the offer, then the lot will be listed for sale at a shelf price set at the greater of the:

  • reserve price, or
  • the highest sale price of the same size lot,

Should a sale be made to the highest bidder after the auction is closed, or via the shelf price, other participants shall have access to the information via a news feed on “Waterbid”

Settlement Payment is due by 28 July 2018

After the sale Licences will not be issued until full payment is received by SRW. If you are an existing customer, you must pay all outstanding accounts with Southern Rural Water before your licence is issued. SRW will seek recovery of the full amount of the successful bid amount, or any loss suffered by SRW as a result of the customers failure to pay the bid amount, together with legal costs and other incidental costs.

Licence term When payment is received the purchased volume will be:

  • Added to an existing (nominated) groundwater licence
  • Or a new 15 year licence will be issued.

Background The water licences being sold are a legally recognised entitlement to water within the Parwan GMU. What conditions are there on these water licences?

  • requirement to take the water from licensed works;
  • standard licence conditions as set out in the Ministerial Policies for Managing Take and Use Licences available from the Victorian Water Register; and

Normal trading rules will apply to all water licences purchased at the sale. The use of this water is subject to conditions on the operating licence (67) which is not issued with this licence. What is the expected price? The market will decide the price. Southern Rural Water is not able to provide an estimate of the expected price. Prospective bidders are encouraged to conduct their own research prior to the sale. All bids for licences will be at a cost per lot and each lot will be sold to the highest bidder. Licences will be GST exempt. What water licence fees apply? Annual water licence fees apply to entitlements that cover the cost of administration and compliance. These fees are set annually and are billed in October each year. Buyers will not be charged for the cost of a licence application fee. Who has approved this sale? The sale has been approved by the Southern Rural Water Board under authority from the Minister for Water The water availability was determined in a recent study.

Related documents These fact sheets are on SRW’s website and are available on request:

To download the information pack click here

Parwan GMU application form

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

WaterBid auction results

WID and BMID auction – results April 2018

The final online allocation auction for the 2017-18 Werribee/Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District season closed Thursday 12 April with all lots sold to bidders registered on WaterBid.

The 155L seasonal allocation was offered in 14 lots, 5x5ML, 5x10ML, and 4 x 20ML. The auction was open for three days and all lots were successfully sold.

MID auction – results February 2018

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Macalister Irrigation District include:

  • Auction prices ranged from $44.25 and $14.31 per ML depending on the lot size
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district

MID auction – results January 2018

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Macalister Irrigation District include:

  • Auction prices ranged from $80.50 and $20.10 per ML depending on the lot size
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district

MID auction – results 21 December 2017

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Macalister Irrigation District include:

  • Auction prices ranged from $92.10 and $112.50 per ML depending on the lot size
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district


MID auction – results 27 February 2017

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Macalister Irrigation District include:

  • Auction prices ranged from $117.50 to $161.25 per ML depending on the lot size
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district

MID auction – results 23 January 2017

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Macalister Irrigation District include:

  • Auction prices ranged from $82.75 – 182.50 per ML depending on the lot size
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district

Parwan GMU auction – results 24 June 2016

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Parwan GMU include:

  • Because of concerns about the high demand for water, Southern Rural Water offered 10ML lots to 11 customers who expressed interest before the auction at the reserve price
  • There were 10 registered bidders and four winning buyers (all market gardeners)
  • 8 out of 10 of the registered bidders actively participated in the auction
  • 490ML (all that was available at the auction) was sold
  • With the 110ML being sold beforehand, this makes a total of 600ML now in customer hands for use
  • Auction prices ranged from $800 to $2,234 per ML
  • The auction proceeds will help fund modernisation works and other projects in the district

Curdies River auction – results 10 June 2016

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Curdies River include:

  • 1,100 MLs (from 1,500ML on offer) were sold
  • The remainder will be available for sale in parcels at reserve prices
  • Prices ranged from $55 to $165 per ML depending on lot sizes.

Merri River auction – results 2 June 2016

The results from our recent online auction of water from the Merri River include:

  • The auction had two active bidders
  • 350 MLs (from 590ML) were sold
  • The remainder will be available for sale in parcels at reserve prices
  • Prices ranged from $50 to $70 per ML
WaterBid - Boneo GMU water auction

Up to 1,300 ML of groundwater licences from the Boneo Groundwater Management Unit (GMU) will be sold by Southern Rural Water.

  • The auction is deferred while Southern Rural Water responds to legal matters that have arisen relating to the water to be auctioned.
  • We are unable to re-schedule the auction until the outcomes of the legal matters are known.
  • This is not expected to occur earlier than early 2018.

What is for sale?
The products for sale are section 51 “take and use” licences to be sold by auction in lots. The licences are available for the Boneo GMU.

What is not for sale?
Section 67 licences to construct works and operate are not being sold. The operating licences describe the site to be used and the rate at which the volume of the water licence can be taken and used. Buyers without an existing section 67 licence who need a new bore to extract the water will need to apply for one. Buyers who possess a section 67 licence may apply to alter their conditions if required.

SRW will not do bore interference assessments on each application for the nominated sites. This will be a requirement of a subsequent section 67 licence application.

Who can take part?
Eligibility is restricted to those who can meet the following criteria:
• Own or occupy land within the area.
• Be able to space an extraction bore at least 500m from the nearest existing bore not in their ownership into the same aquifer.

To be eligible you must submit an application which meets the criteria, and supply the following information:
• Indicate the volume being sought and a daily pumping rate.
• Provide a plan for how the water is to be used. This includes an outline of the business proposal and timeframe for development.
• Indicate how waste water will be disposed.
• Nominate an approximate bore location.

SRW will determine who is eligible to bid at the auction based on the above requirements.

Irrigation District trading

If you would like to trade water from your Allocation Bank Account in any of the following districts please read the information below:

  • Macalister Irrigation District, and river diverters from the Macalister and Thomson Rivers and Rainbow Creek
  • Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District, Werribee Irrigation District and river diverters from the Werribee River.

Why trade water?
Water in our irrigation areas is fully allocated; therefore no new water is available.

To help make the most of water on hand, we ask anyone who does not plan to use their water to consider trading to others in the area.

Water trading can help to:

  • reduce your water bill
  • provide additional income
  • maximise productivity for the district
  • build the local economy.

As a purchaser, water trading can help to meet your needs during a dry spell, or when your existing allocation is not enough.

What types of trades are available?

Allocation trade
You can trade any unused allocation from your allocation bank account (ABA). These trades are for one season only and finish on 30 June each year. Water must be used by 30 June in the season in which the trade occurred. If this water remains unused at 30 June, it will be returned to the communal pool for allocation the following year.

Limited term transfer

This is where you lease your water share to someone else for a set period of time. The transfer period can be from 1 year to 20 years, and the transfer does not change the legal ownership of the water share.

A Limited Term Transfer will remain in place until it expires or is surrendered, even if the water share is transferred permanently (see below).

The lessee is called the holder of the Limited Term Transfer, and is the only person who can surrender or cancel the Limited Term Water Share Transfer before its expiry date.

Any allocations held by the seller at the time of the transfer remain in the seller’s ABA, but can be traded by the seller via an Allocation Trade (see above). Any further allocations will be added to the holder’s ABA.

Permanent transfer

This is when you sell all or part of a water share. The legal ownership of the water share changes, but any existing Limited Term Transfers against that water share will remain in place until they either expire or are surrendered.

Delivery share transfer
This is the permanent transfer of all or part of your delivery share rate. Restrictions apply where a delivery share can be traded within the district, as they directly relate to and influence the capacity of each of the delivery systems in the district.

Groundwater, Rivers and Creeks trading

Why transfer or trade water?

In many areas throughout Southern Victoria, water is fully allocated and new entitlements are not available. In these areas, the only option to get new water is to transfer or trade from an existing licence holder.

This is also a good way to obtain more water during a dry period when your existing licence volume is not enough, or get some money back on water that you are not using.

Trades can be on a permanent or temporary basis. A transfer occurs when a property changes hands and the licence goes to the new owner.

Who can transfer water?

Water can be transferred between:

  • existing licensed holders, or
  • from an existing licence holder to a person without a pre-existing licence

Temporary trades

Temporary trades can occur when a licence holder leases either all or some of their water entitlement to another user for a fixed period of time.

In most areas this can be for a minimum one financial year up to a maximum of five financial years at any one time. The licence will automatically revert to the owner on 1 July, when the trade expires.

Permanent trade

Permanent trades occur when a licence owner sells ownership of some or all of their licence to another person. This process does not involve any type of land transfer.

Transfer of licence ownership – property purchase

Water licences are not automatically transferred with the sale of a property. A properly completed transfer application form must be submitted to SRW before a licence will be transferred, regardless of what appears in a sale contract.

We strongly suggest that this is clarified with your agent or solicitor and noted in the contract of sale before signing property purchase documents.

You or your agent can apply for an information statement from us to confirm water licence details linked to the land, tariffs applicable to the licence and also any outstanding monies or debts.

How do I trade water?

Transfers can only occur within the same groundwater area or surface water catchment, with many areas being subject to specific transfer rules. To apply to transfer water you must apply using the appropriate form, and submit the correct application fees.

If you are unsure of the transfer rules in your area, it is best to contact us to discuss your proposal in more detail.

Licence holders wanting to transfer water must apply to Southern Rural Water, and the application must be approved before the water is used.

How are prices set for water transfers?

The price for the water needs to be negotiated between the seller and buyer. Southern Rural Water does not play a role in transfer price negotiations.

Case studies

Click here to read six real experiences with groundwater trading.

Click here to download our Water Trading and Transfer booklet.

Click here to download Water Transfers – Groundwater and Unregulated Surfacewater

Water Share & Allocation Trading - MID

Why trade water?

Water in the Macalister Irrigation District is fully allocated; therefore no new water is available.

To help make the most of water on hand, we ask anyone who does not plan to use their water to consider trading to others in the area.

Water trading can help to:

• reduce your water bill
• provide additional income
• maximise productivity for the district
• build the local economy.

As a purchaser, water trading can help to meet your needs during a dry spell, or when your existing allocation is not enough.

What types of trades are available?

Permanent Transfer of water shares

This is when you sell all or part of a water share. The legal ownership of the water share changes, but any existing Limited
Term Transfers against that water share will remain in place until they either expire or are surrendered.

Temporary Trade of Seasonal Allocation (one season only)

You can trade any unused allocation from your Allocation Bank Account (ABA). These trades are for one season only and finish on 30 June each year. Water must be used by 30 June in the season in which the trade occurred. If this water remains unused at 30 June it will be returned to the communal pool for allocation the following year.

Limited Term Transfer of water share

This is where you lease your water share to someone else for a set period of time. The transfer period can be from 1 year to 20 years, and the transfer does not change the legal ownership of the water share.

A Limited Term Transfer will remain in place until it expires or is surrendered; even if the water share is transferredpermanently (see below).

The lessee is called the holder of the Limited Term Transfer, and is the only person who can surrender or cancel the Limited Term Water Share Transfer before its expiry date.

Any allocations held by the seller at the time of the transfer remain in the seller’s ABA, but can be traded by the seller via an Allocation Trade (see above). Any further allocations will be added to the holder’s ABA.

Delivery Share Transfer

This is the permanent transfer of all or part of your delivery share. Restrictions apply where a delivery share can be traded within the district, as they directly relate to and influence the capacity of each of the delivery systems in the district.

How are prices set for water trades?

The price for the water needs to be negotiated between the seller and buyer. Southern Rural Water does not play a role in trading price negotiations.

Statistics on past trades and transfer prices can be obtained from the Victorian Water Register www.waterregister.vic.gov.au.

Are there any application fees?

For information about fees, please contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.

How can I find a buyer or seller of water?

There are many ways to find buyers and sellers of water. You could advertise in the local paper, talk to your neighbour or use a trading exchange.

Water trading exchanges operate throughout Victoria and link buyers and sellers who have lodged compatible bids. The following trading exchanges operate in our irrigation areas:

Watermove – www.watermove.com.au
Waterfind – www.waterfind.com.au

More information
For more information contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au

Download Factsheet

Water share & allocation trading - WID

Why trade water?

Water in the Werribee and Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District is fully allocated; therefore no new water is available.

To help make the most of water on hand, we ask anyone who does not plan to use their water to consider trading to others in the area.

Water trading can help to:

• reduce your water bill
• provide additional income
• maximise productivity for the district
• build the local economy.

As a purchaser, water trading can help to meet your needs during a dry spell, or when your existing allocation is not enough.

What types of trades are available?

Allocation trade

You can trade any unused allocation from your Allocation Bank Account (ABA). These trades are for one season only and finish on 30 June each year. Water must be used by 30 June in the season in which the trade occurred. If this water remains unused at 30 June it will be returned to the communal pool for allocation the following year.

Limited term transfer

This is where you lease your water share to someone else for a set period of time. The transfer period can be from 1 year to 20 years, and the transfer does not change the legal ownership of the water share, A Limited Term Transfer will remain in place until it expires or is surrendered; even if the water share is transferred permanently (see below).

The lessee is called the holder of the Limited Term Transfer, and is the only person who can surrender or cancel the Limited Term Water Share Transfer before its expiry date.

Any allocations held by the seller at the time of the transfer remain in the seller’s ABA, but can be traded by the seller via an Allocation Trade (see above). Any further allocations will be added to the holder’s ABA.

Permanent transfer

This is when you sell all or part of a water share. The legal ownership of the water share changes, but any existing Limited Term Transfers against that water share will remain in place until they either expire or are surrendered.

Delivery share transfer

This is the permanent transfer of all or part of your delivery share. Restrictions apply where a delivery share can be traded within the district, as they directly relate to and influence the capacity of each of the delivery systems in the district.

How are prices set for water trades?

The price for the water needs to be negotiated between the seller and buyer. Southern Rural Water does not play a role in trading price negotiations.

Statistics on past trades and transfer prices can be obtained from the Victorian Water Register www.waterregister.vic.gov.au.

Are there any application fees?

For information about fees, please contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.

How can I find a buyer or seller of water?

There are many ways to find buyers and sellers of water. You could advertise in the local paper, talk to your neighbour or use a trading exchange.

Water trading exchanges operate throughout Victoria and link buyers and sellers who have lodged compatible bids. The following trading exchanges operate in our irrigation areas:

watermove - www.watermove.com.au
waterfind - www.waterfind.com.au

More information
For more information contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.

Download Factsheet

Water Trading in the Macalister Irrigation District
Things you need to do when buying a new property

If you are thinking about buying a property with a water licence or entitlement, read this first.

Beware, licences or water shares are not always transferred on the sale of property

A water licence or allocation may not automatically transfer with the sale of a property. We strongly suggest that this is clarified with your agent or solicitor and noted in the contract of sale prior to signing property purchase documents.

This includes water from:

  • irrigation channels
  • drains
  • rivers
  • bores
  • farm dams
  • domestic and stock licences

Make sure you, your solicitor or agent applies for an Information Statement. This will verify details about:

  • existing licences, (inc drainage diversion agreements) conditions and encumbrances
  • property location
  • licensed volume and use (from a river, dam or bore)
  • water shares and allocation (if in an irrigation district)
  • delivery shares and water use licences/registrations (if in an irrigation district)
  • tariffs applicable
  • any outstanding debt

A properly completed transfer application form must be submitted to Southern Rural Water before a licence or water share will be transferred regardless of what appears in a sale contract. Without the approval from Southern Rural Water, you will have no legal access to water.

What do I do if I don’t have the authority to take and use water?

You need to follow up with your solicitor or agent and check whether the licence or water entitlement was included in the contract of sale. If it was then you will need to complete an application form to transfer the entitlement. All current licence holders (the seller) as well as all proposed new licence holders (the buyer) must sign this form.

If the licence wasn’t included in the contract of sale, you should phone Southern Rural Water on 1300 139 510. You may be able to obtain a new licence, depending on your location. Otherwise you will need to secure a volume or entitlement through a temporary or permanent transfer.

All applications need to be submitted to Southern Rural Water for assessment. Transfer applications are not always approved.

More information
For more information, application forms or fact sheets, phone SRW on 1300 139 510 or visit our website www.srw.com.au

Download Factsheet

Things you need to do when selling or advertising a property for sale

If you are thinking about selling or advertising a property for sale with a water licence or entitlement, read this first. You may be able to keep your licence even though you are selling your land.

Be clear about what you are selling or advertising

Make sure you, your solicitor or agent applies for an Information Statement. This will verify details about:

  • existing licences, conditions and encumbrances
  • property location
  • licensed volume and use (from a river, dam or bore)
  • water allocation (if in an irrigation district)
  • works that are required to be carried out
  • tariffs applicable
  • any outstanding debt

Be clear about what you are selling. We strongly suggest that this is clarified with your agent or solicitor and noted in the con- tract of sale before advertising the property.

This includes water from:

  • irrigation channels
  • drains
  • rivers
  • bores
  • farm dams
  • domestic and stock licences

A properly completed transfer application form must be submitted to Southern Rural Water before a licence or water share can be considered for transfer. Without the approval from Southern Rural Water, the new purchaser will have no legal access to water. All current licence holders (the seller) as well as all proposed new licence holders (the buyer) must sign this form.

All applications need to be submitted to Southern Rural Water for assessment. Transfer applications are not always approved. 

More information
For more information contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au

Download Factsheet

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