An updated report on water market trends in northern Victoria is now available, providing important insights into the changes in how water is owned, used and traded and the factors impacting the price of water on the market.

This is an update to the previous Water Market Trends report released in February 2016. It analyses data from the Victorian Water Register on trends in the northern Victorian water market since 2001. This new report includes additional information on the changes observed since 2014-15, and on trade patterns between different water users in recent seasons.

The report shows that the largest proportion of high reliability water shares remain privately owned and linked to land. Since 2015, the proportion of entitlement not tied to land has increased to 12%. However, the data indicates that a lot of the water shares not linked to land are most likely held by farmers who regularly shift allocation to be used on their farms. Holdings by investors appear to be relatively small.

Where water is being used for irrigation is continuing to change. Water use in the Goulburn-Murray irrigation District has fluctuated significantly over the last ten years in response to seasonal conditions, commodity prices and water availability, while LMW diverters’ use has increased steadily since the Millennium Drought.

Market prices for water allocation have generally reflected water availability in the connected southern Murray-Darling Basin, and water availability in NSW has been seen to have a very strong influence on market prices in recent years.

In 2018-19, market prices have risen sharply due to drought in NSW and hot and dry conditions that have resulted in increasing competition for water to meet irrigation demands in the southern Murray-Darling Basin
Across northern Victoria, irrigators are now more reliant on allocation trade in the market and carryover to help meet their water needs.

Through reports like this, and by continuing to improve the information available on the Victorian Water Register website, the Victorian government is committed to providing water users with clear, accurate information to help them make informed decisions in the water market. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will be discussing the information in the report at a number of forums with water users over March and April including water corporation customer committees and other industry forums.

Further reports on water trading, including the Victorian Water Trading Annual Report are also available here, and up to date market data on the volume and price of water allocation trade is available here.

Article posted Friday 22 March 2019 - 11:05 am

The online bore application process available through the My Water tool is not currently operational. Initial analysis indicates this is a minor mapping issue that can be resolved a short timeframe. Further analysis of the matter is currently underway. This article will be updated as soon as there is new information. 

In the meantime, online applications are not possible.

If there is a critical need to complete an application, you will need to contact the relevant water corporation and discuss what options that they can provide.

All services relating to the Victorian Water Register, including online trades and Bore Construction Licencing will be affected and may be unavailable on two occasions over the coming days.


Thursday March 7, between 07:00 pm and 12:00 midnight the whole system will be offline for essential system maintenance.

Saturday March 9, between 11:00 am and 05:00 pm the system may be affected by a Vic Maps outage.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) recently put out a media release on its assessment of the risks that could impact on a delivery shortfall in the River Murray this season. This assessment found that the overall the risk of a delivery shortfall this season is low. However, if it turns even drier then the risk of a shortfall later in the season could increase slightly.

River operators will continue to keep a close eye on demand and conditions and have identified a range of mitigation measures to help manage any potential shortfalls this season.

Read more: MDBA assessment of delivery risks in 2019

Victorian Water Accounts 2016-17 now available

This report is the 14th in the annual series and summarises Victoria’s water availability, distribution and use for the 2016-17 year. Data in the report is provided by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, water businesses, the Essential Services Commission, the Bureau of Meteorology, and major water users.

Read more: Victorian Water Accounts 2016-17 now available

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2017-18 is now available here. The annual trade report is part of the Victorian government’s commitment to an open and transparent water market.

Record volumes of allocation trade in northern Victoria in 2017-18 show that people are increasingly using the water market to deal with changes in commodity prices, climate and seasonal conditions.

Active irrigators in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District and in Sunraysia were net buyers of allocation in the market.

Drying conditions in northern Victoria and emerging drought in NSW resulted in increasing market prices for water allocation during the year and had a strong influence on where water was traded to.

Read more: Monitoring the Victorian water market in 2017-18

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2017-18 is now available.

This report summarises all water trades recorded in the Victorian Water Register for the 2017-18 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: 2017-18 annual water trading report

The ability for all bores to access sufficient water quantity and quality is always important. One of the tools that we use develop and maintain our knowledge of water flow and quality across Victoria is the State Observation Bore Network (SOBN). It is important that these monitoring sites are carefully selected and protected.

As a result, from today there is a new condition in place for any bores that can affect the water quality or water levels near these sites. The condition is that such bores cannot be placed within 200 meters of a SOBN site.

Read more: New condition regarding Bore locations

Since the evening of August 22nd the online Bore Construction Licence process in My Water has not been available. This has been due to significant damage to State computer hardware after a fire at a key site in Melbourne.

The critical systems are now back online and, people can once again process a Bore Construction Licence to completion via the My Water webpage. 

Various Water Corporations have readily provided over the counter assistance to customers during this significant outage in getting urgent applications done. The whole team here would like to thank them for their speedy and professional response to this outage.

There are important changes happening to 5 frequently used Victorian Water Register Application Forms, some of which may affect you directly.

Our focus has been to make the Forms easier to follow, faster to complete, less prone to error, and better for emailing. To that end we have revised the questions and sequence, started making editable PDFs and updated the privacy statement. The updated privacy statement will provide applicants with greater security and is a move towards greater online capability.


Key Dates

The current Forms will be replaced on the Victorian Water Register website on Monday 17 September 2018. We understand that you may already be in the process of completing an existing copy and accordingly, both new and old formats of these Forms will continue to be accepted until 31 December 2018. However, from 1 January 2019, the water corporations will only accept the new version of the Forms.

Read more: Important Application Form Update

A new fact sheet is available to help water users understand how delivery shortfall risks are managed in the Murray River downstream of the Barmah Choke and what this means for their business.

This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to improve public water information and transparency around water management.

Read more: Understanding delivery shortfall risks in the lower Murray

A new fact sheet is available which provides more information on how changing water use and climate in the southern Murray-Darling Basin are increasing competition for water across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment under Water for Victoria to improve public water market information to help water users make informed decisions in managing their water and increase water market transparency.

Read more: Understanding future water availability in Northern Victoria

Your submissions invited to the Delivery Share Review

You are invited to make a submission on the review into delivery share arrangements in northern Victoria.

The discussion paper, summary findings and factsheets are available here.

Community engagement meetings are on this week at :

  • Mildura - 1 August, 5:30 pm at Quality Hotel, Seventh Street, Mildura
  • Kerang - 2 August, 6:30 pm at Goulburn Murray Water Office, 78 Kerang-Koondrook Road, Kerang
  • Shepparton - 3 August, 11 am at Quality Hotel Parklake, 481 Wyndham Street, Shepparton

Submissions are open until 20 August 2018.

Read more: Public forums this week in Mildura, Kerang & Shepparton

Access to online allocation trading through the Water Register Broker Portal and API and MyWater online trading has been restored this morning Thursday 19 July.

All online trades will be automatically approved or refused in line with the trading rules.

Read more: Online trading access restored

At 11:00am this morning (2 July 2018) 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.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced that trading water from above the Barmah Choke to below the Choke will continue to be restricted in the 2018–19 water year.

For more information refer to the MDBA's media release available here.

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete the end of year accounting to roll over from the 2017-18 water year to 2018-19.

On-line services will be suspended from 5pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday 29 June 2018 until 11am AEST on Monday 2 July 2018.

Read more: Important info for end of 2017-18 financial year

All allocation trades submitted online in Victoria are now being automatically processed, as a result of new improvements in the Victorian Water Register.

Automated processing of Barmah Choke trades

Allocation trades subject to the Barmah Choke trade restriction will now be automatically processed.

This is a joint initiative between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and the Victorian government. You can read the joint media release here.

Read more: Improvements to online allocation trade processing

New and more accessible information is now available on all water share and allocation trades in Victoria and the volumes of available (or unused) water held by private water holders, environmental water holders or water corporations. This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to improve public water market information and increase water market transparency.

This initiative is part of delivering on one of the actions from the recently published review of Victorian water market effectiveness in line with Water for Victoria.

Read more: New information now available - Water Share / Allocation trades and Available Water

On 4 April 2018, DELWP advised that it would be following up on the outcomes of the annual audit of water brokers who use the Water Register’s online Broker Portal to request further information from some brokers.

In most cases, brokers have provided the requested information from the audit and DELWP is assessing this to consider if any further action is required to improve compliance with the Agreement.

Two water brokers have not provided the information requested in a timely manner, and DELWP will be suspending their access to the online portal until the required information is provided. This information will then be assessed to ensure that they have robust controls in place for their use of the portal.

DELWP takes the brokers’ obligations seriously and they provide important controls that support confidence in the conduct of water market intermediaries and the water market.

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

Brokers who do not have access to the online portal can still submit trades manually to water corporations.