Here you can find statistics on water share trade volumes and prices and historical statistics about the 4% limit.

Water share trading overview

'Trade' of water shares can mean a transfer of ownership, a change of location, or both.

A transfer of ownership occurs when a water share transfer is recorded in the Victorian Water Register. A holder of a water share may apply to their local water corporation to transfer it. The water corporation will approve the application if it is complete and meets local trading rules. As per land dealings which also require registration, the application is then submitted to the Victorian Water Registrar for recording.

Transfer of ownership data provides information on market activity as each involves a buyer and a seller. The water share location may or may not change as part of the transfer of ownership.

A change of location may occur when a water share transfer or an application to vary or associate a water share is approved and recorded in the Victorian Water Register. The source of a water share never changes, however the point of use does. For instance when a water user located in the Murray system purchases a Goulburn water share, the water share source remains in the Goulburn, but it is tagged for use in the Murray (this means they still receive Goulburn allocations). In order to analyse the movement of water shares, the direction of trade must be assessed by considering the point of use rather than the source of the water share as this never changes.

Prior to unbundling the concept of water shares did not exist, although permanent trade of entitlement is often used as a comparable measure for historic water share trade in declared water systems in Victoria. Permanent trade always involved a change in the source of a water entitlement. An exchange rate system was used, whereby an entitlement trade from the Goulburn to the Murray resulted in cancellation of Goulburn entitlement and issue of a new Murray entitlement, the volume of which was determined by the relevant exchange rate.

Information for buyers of a water share

The document below provides information for water share buyers on the potential impact of carryover recorded against a water share on either:

  •     allocations available under that water share in the current season, or
  •     any above entitlement storage charges levied against that water share in the current season.

pdfDownload PDF Information for buyers on carryover recorded against water shares - updated October 2013 (PDF - 901 Kb)

This document has been updated to reflect the change to charges for storing more than your entitlement in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe water systems that came into effect from 1 July 2013.

You can find out more about charges for storing more than your water entitlement in the fact sheet available here.

Water share transfer history

You can get summary information here about the transfer of water shares for a given trading zone source and reliability within the regulated water systems.

For example, you can find information on the number of transfers in the current season, the volume of water traded, price statistics on those trades, and a list of all transfers.

Water share trading history

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Notes and disclaimers

  • These statistics are by trading zone source, rather than trading zone use. The trading zone source of a water share is indicative of where it is stored. This never changes.
  • Only regulated trading zones are shown as it is only these trading zones which have water shares.
  • Applications to transfer or divide and transfer water shares are shown. Transfer applications result in a change of ownership. In some cases, the change of ownership occurs with a transfer of land. Transfers of ownership that are part of a water/land sale are not separated out.
  • The statistics show recorded transfers only and are grouped by the date the transfer was recorded.
  • Median price is the median price of trades within the selected trading zone. Some transactions may be between related parties or are otherwise non-monetary - these zero priced transfers have been excluded from the calculation of the median price. Pricing data is based on data supplied by applicants on their transfer applications and is only as good as the data supplied. The accuracy of pricing data is therefore not guaranteed by the Department.
  • If there are issues with this report, please click here to let us know.

4% trade-out limit

Until 30 June 2014 Victoria maintained an annual 4% limit on the volume of water shares traded out of irrigation districts in northern Victoria, in compliance with the National Water Initiative. An explanation of the 4% limit is available in the water dictionary.

Click here to see the final status of the 4% limit for each irrigation district in previous years. 

Disassociated water shares

A disassociated water share is a share that does not have a nominated water-use licence for the allocations to be used on. These water shares are held independently from land.

Trading rule 25 places limits on your ability to trade allocations into the allocation bank account attached to a disassociated water share. For more information on the impacts of disassociation, please see the trading rules.

10% Non water user limit (No longer applicable)

As part of the rules implemented with the unbundling reforms, a 10 per cent limit was placed on the amount of water shares in any water supply system that could be held as disassociated water shares.

This rule has was removed by legislation passed through Parliament on 16 September 2009.

Click here to see the status of the limit as at the date of the removal of the limit (16 September 2009) and at the end of previous years.