Water licences are a valuable asset.

In water sharing plan areas you can trade water access licences, licence shares and water allocations. These trades are referred to as ‘dealings’.

Trading helps you to manage your water requirements to suit your needs.

Statistics about trading in your area are available on the NSW Water Register.

WaterNSW is responsible for managing trade of water access licences, licence entitlements and water allocations.

Change to trade of Domestic and Stock (Stock) licence allocations due to the drought.

Trade of water allocations by local water utilities

When a local water utility applies to WaterNSW to trade water allocations from its water access licence, WaterNSW refers the utility’s application to the department for specialist advice.

For more information about the application process, view the fact sheet Trading water allocations by local water utilities (PDF 365.4 KB).

To provide additional information with an application to assign (trade) water allocation by local water utilities download and fill out the form (PDF 175.2 KB).

ACCC Murray–Darling Basin water markets inquiry

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) were directed by the Commonwealth Government in August 2019 to conduct an inquiry into water markets in the Murray–Darling Basin.

An interim report was released by the ACCC in July 2020, which identified a range of options to improve the transparency and operation of these markets.

The NSW Government provided a high-level submission (PDF 360.3 KB) in response to the Interim Report in August 2020.

We are now evaluating the options in the ACCC Interim Report in more detail and are consulting with key stakeholders to understand their views.

To support these considerations, we engaged Aither, a consultancy firm, to undertake an independent review (PDF 1.1 MB) of the options put forward in the Interim Report. This information will help inform ongoing discussions with the ACCC and stakeholders, as well as policy positions the NSW Government may adopt in response to the inquiry.

The department has also prepared preliminary comments (PDF 633.3 KB) on each of the individual options. These comments do not represent a formal NSW Government position, but rather are intended to provide transparency to stakeholders about our initial thinking and consideration. This document may be updated as the department undertakes further consultation with stakeholders.

For any further information or to provide feedback, please contact us at

  1. waterdrop

    Trade dashboard

    Data visualisation tool to analyse volumes and prices of water allocations and entitlements being traded.

  2. waterdrop

    Have your say on what information about water ownership and water trading is made public in NSW

    We are seeking feedback until 31 January 2021 on our water market information platforms to understand what information we should be sharing and how we can make our platforms easier to use.