Water Market Trends

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.

Five fact sheets provide simple and accessible information from the report on how entitlements are owned and water is being used in northern Victoria, the key factors influencing the price of water allocation on the market, how irrigators are sourcing their water, and carryover and how entitlement holders are using it.

The original report Water Market Trends: Trends in Northern Victorian Water Trade 2001-2015 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, providing important insights into current trends in water trade as well as factors impacting the price of allocation water.

Water Market Effectiveness

The first statewide review of the effectiveness of Victoria’s water markets has now been completed as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment under action 9.3 of Water for Victoria. This review covered all Victorian water markets, including the northern, southern and western regulated surface water markets; unregulated surface water markets; and, groundwater markets.

This first review was conducted by independent consultants (Aither, with DG Consulting) in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and a wide variety of stakeholders including water resource managers and market regulators (both state and Commonwealth); urban and rural water corporations; environmental water managers; Traditional Owner representatives; various industry representatives; and individual irrigators.

The independent report is accompanied by a short document which summarises the findings from the review and the next steps the Department will be taking to improve the effectiveness of water markets across the state.

Through this review, Victoria is continuing to demonstrate leadership in the active monitoring and development of water markets to make sure that they continue to work efficiently, with effective governance frameworks and trading rules in place to protect existing entitlement holders and the environment.

In addition to this first review of the effectiveness of Victoria’s water markets, two additional reports are now also available on the history and development of water markets in Victoria. These reports on Early Trends in Groundwater Trade in Victoria and The Evolution of Surface Water Markets are part of the Government’s commitment to improving information on water market trends and to improve confidence and understanding of water markets through greater transparency.

Victorian Water Trading Annual Report

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report provides the definitive point for referencing Victorian water trade information. It provides data from the Victorian Water Register on trades of allocation, water shares, and take and use licences.

 Copies of the Victorian Annual Water Trading Report for each year since 2007 are available below.

Water Supply and Demand Reports

Victoria has released a new independent report by water market experts Aither, updating estimates of water availability and horticulture demands in the southern Murray-Darling Basin.

The updated report has been developed in close collaboration with the New South Wales and South Australian governments, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and industry experts to provide an up-to-date understanding of how horticultural water demands are changing.

The new report builds on analysis released in 2019 and 2020 and provides a greater level of confidence in the projected demand estimates through improved data accuracy. An additional baseline water availability scenario (similar to 2019-20) has also been included to make use of the most recent water data.

The report finds there will be increasing challenges for horticultural plantings to meet their water needs in dry years – particularly in the lower Murray region.

Post trade reports

PDFDownload PDF: Goulburn to Murray Post Trade Opportunity Opening Report (December 2023) (958 KB)

PDFDownload PDF: Goulburn to Murray Post Trade Opportunity Opening Report (October 2023) (1.4 MB)

Other Water Trade Reports

The report Water Trading in Northern Victoria 1991/92 – 2005/06 (DSE 2008) draws together data to describe activity in Victoria’s water market over a 15-year period since trade was enabled.

The Value of Water: a guide to water trading in Victoria was published in 2001. It explains how water trading developed since its origins, the benefits and hazards, the influences and participants, and the reasons behind various rules. It covers special situations like trade between States.