Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements – do you need to register?

From 1 July 2017, the Australian Government is introducing a new water entitlements register to increase transparency around foreign investment in Australia. Foreign persons with registrable water entitlements or contractual water rights may need to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  A stocktake period will take place between 1 July 2017 and 30 November 2017. Following the stocktake period, a foreign person must notify the ATO of certain events regarding their interests every year. The ATO will use this information to create a register of foreign ownership of water entitlements.

Read more: New Australian Government initiative

All Water Register online services are now available.

This includes:

  • MyWater access for online trading and online bore construction licence applications
  • The Broker Portal
  • Creation of Copies of Record for entitlements

All public reports and information on this website are also now available again, although we are still working to make bulk entitlement records available.

We appreciate your support while work was completed to restore all online services following the recent outage.

Water Register online services have been unavailable since Saturday 19 August as a result of a very significant system failure at the Water Register's external hosting provider. This included the Water Register website, Broker Portal, online trading and online bore construction licensing services.

All customer information, including entitlement records and allocation balances, is secure and no data was lost during the outage.

Read more: Outage to Water Register online services

At 10:00am this morning (10 July 2017) we will open the Victorian Water Register including access to 'My Water' and online allocation trading.

We have now completed all necessary end of financial year water accounting tasks. We trust there has been minimal disruption to your business operations and we appreciate your support during this process.

On 27 June 2017, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) announced that the current restriction on trading water from upstream of the Barmah Choke to buyers downstream of the Choke will continue into the 2017-18 water year.

As explained in the MDBA's media release, the volume that can be traded through the Choke will be reset on 1 July 2016, with an annual adjustment made to take account of water savings transferred to the Snowy scheme. This will result in an opening balance close to 37,000 megalitres available to be traded from above to below the Barmah Choke.

Any further net trade above this balance will only be possible if the same or greater net volume of water has been traded from downstream to upstream of the Choke first.


Trading through the Choke

If you plan to trade water through the Choke, you or your broker need to keep an eye on any trading limits that apply to you.

The Government, through Water for Victoria has committed to actively monitoring water markets to ensure that they continue to operate effectively.

A key task in this is an annual audit of the water brokers who use the Water Register’s Broker Portal/API (“the portal”).

The audit for the 2015-16 financial year is now complete.

Read more: Annual audit of brokers that use the Broker Portal/API

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete the end of year accounting to roll over from the 2016-17 water year to 2017-18.

On-line services will be suspended from 5pm AEST on Friday 30 June 2017 until 10am AEST on Monday 10 July 2017.

Read more: Important info for end of 2016-17 financial year

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) wants to improve its delivery of water information to puts its users’ needs first.

DELWP is currently undertaking a user needs analysis of water information products.

Read more: We want your feedback about water information

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2015-16 is now available.

See the Minister for Water’s media release here.

This report summarises all water trades recorded in the Victorian Water Register for the 2015-16 year.  It presents information about the number, volume, price and location of trades for water shares, allocation, and groundwater and surface water take and use licences.

Read more: 2015-16 water trading report

for Sunday 18 September between 7:30am and 1:30pm. All services including MyWater and Broker Portal will be offline while we carry out important maintenance.

All services will resume at 1:30pm. Thank you.

 At 10.00am this morning (8 July 2016) we will open the Victorian Water Register including access to 'My Water' and online allocation trading.

We have now completed all necessary end of financial year water accounting tasks. We trust there has been minimal disruption to your business operations and we appreciate your support during this process.

On 17 June 2016, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) announced that the current restriction on trading water from upstream of the Barmah Choke to buyers downstream of the Choke will continue into the 2016-17 water year.

As explained in the MDBA's media release, the volume that can be traded through the Choke will be reset on 1 July 2016, with an annual adjustment made to take account of water savings transferred to the Snowy scheme. This will result in an opening balance close to 26,000 megalitres available to be traded from above to below the Barmah Choke.

Any further net trade above this balance will only be possible if the same or greater net volume of water has been traded from downstream to upstream of the choke first.

Read more: Barmah Choke trade restrictions to continue

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete the end of year accounting to roll over from the 2015-16 water year to 2016-17.

On-line services will be suspended from 5pm AEST on 30 June 2016 until 10am AEST on 8 July 2016.

Read more: Key dates for end of 2015/16 financial year

If you are planning to trade water, you need to keep an eye on the status of the trade limits that might affect you.

Allocation trade from New South Wales to Victoria is limited to the lesser of a net annual volume of 200 gigalitres (GL) or a volume that keeps the risk of spill in Victoria’s share the Murray system below 50 per cent. The spill risk limit currently allows more than 200 GL of trade, and so the net annual volume of 200 GL applies unless advised otherwise.

Read more: Understanding the NSW to Victoria trade limit

A new report on trends in the Victorian water market is now available, providing important insights into current trends in water trade as well as factors impacting the price of allocation water.

Early in the 2015/16 irrigation season, irrigation communities in northern Victoria expressed concerns about high water prices, and asked for information about the impact of environmental water recovery and the role of speculators in influencing water prices.

This report provides an analysis of data in the Victorian Water Register on trends in the water market over the past 10 to 15 years, and trade patterns between different water users in recent seasons.

Read more: New water market trends report available

The annual audit of water brokers who use the Water Register’s Broker Portal/API (referred to as the portal) for making allocation trades online has been completed for the 2014-15 financial year.

The portal allows brokers to lodge allocation trades online on behalf of their customers at a reduced cost for near-instant processing in most cases. In 2014-15 this service facilitated 9,170 allocation trades (65 percent of all trades).

By 2014-15 18 brokers had entered into an agreement with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to use the portal. The Agreement specifies requirements that the brokers must comply with when using the portal.

Read more: 2015 Audit of brokers that use the Broker Portal/API

The Victorian Water Register will be upgraded on Sunday. During that time the register website will not be available. This includes all My Water services - broker portal, online allocation trading and online BCL applications.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2014-15 is now available.

This report provides the definitive point for referencing Victorian water trade information and summarises all water trades recorded in the Victorian Water Register during 2014-15.  It presents information about the number, volume, price and location of trades for water shares, allocation, and groundwater and surface water take and use licences.

Read more: 2014-15 water trading report

Summary information about all water entitlements and use recorded in the Victorian Water Register is now available in the report below.

Read more: 2014-15 water entitlements and use report

Landholders, drillers and consultants can now apply online for licences to construct water bores (BCLs) for domestic and stock use, investigation and observation.

It is now easier, faster and cheaper to get a licence with same day approvals in most cases.

    • Fees for one online applications are around 50% less than paper application fees.
    • Online fees will be the same across all water corporations
    • There will no longer be additional fees for extra bores when applying online.

Applications are automatically processed and licences issued on the spot in most cases.

Read more: Online BCLs saving Victorians time and money