Controlled allocations

In water sources that are not fully committed, the right to apply for water access licences can be provided through a controlled allocation order. In fully committed water sources, water access licences can only be obtained through the water market.

What is a controlled allocation of access licences?

A controlled allocation provides a right to acquire a water access licence for a specified water source by auction, tender or other means specified in an order published in the Government Gazette

For more information on the legal provisions for controlled allocations see section 65 of the Water Management Act 2000.

Strategy for the controlled allocation of groundwater

The Strategy for the controlled allocation of groundwater (PDF, 33.08 KB) (Strategy) provides a framework for controlled allocations. It includes objectives and principles that guide the way controlled allocations are made.

The Strategy also explains the reasons for setting minimum prices for each water source and information about how the minimum prices are set.

Register your interest

Find out about controlled allocation opportunities or register your interest.

Enquiries and notification of future registrations of interest periods

Please send any enquiries or requests to be notified of upcoming registration of interest periods to: controlled.allocation@dpie.nsw.gov.au.

Those who ‘request to be notified’ will be sent an email once details of an upcoming registration of interest are publicly released.

Notice of registration of interest periods will also be:

  • advertised in The Land, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Daily Telegraph
  • posted on social media (Twitter).

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions.

Outcomes of controlled allocation orders

2020 Controlled allocation order

This order made water available in 43 groundwater sources. It made 5% of the unassigned water available in each specified groundwater source through a tender process.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) 2020 Report.

2019 Controlled allocation amendment order

This amending order was an extension of the 2017 order.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) 2017 Report.

2018 Controlled allocation amendment order

This amending order was an extension of the 2017 order.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) 2017 Report.

2017 Controlled allocation order

This order made water available in 42 groundwater sources. It made greater than 5% of the unassigned water available in each specified groundwater source over a three-year period through a tender process.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) 2017 Report.

2014 Controlled allocation order

This order made water available in 20 groundwater sources. It made 5% of the unassigned water available in each specified groundwater source through a tender process.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) (No 1) 2014 Report.

2013 Controlled allocation order

This order made water available in 20 groundwater sources. It made 5% of the unassigned water available in each specified groundwater source through a tender process.

For details of water bought go to Outcomes of Controlled Allocation Order (Various Groundwater Sources) (No 1) 2013 Report.

2009 Controlled allocation order

This order made a small amount of water available in the Great Artesian Basin through an auction process. The water was made available as a result of a small amount of water saved through the Cap and Pipe the Bores Program.

For details of the process and water bought go to NSW Great Artesian Basin: Final report.