The Minister for Water has approved changes to the trading rules to allow additional exemptions to the 4% limit for certain Commonwealth purchases. The new exemptions are available to -

  • transfers to the Commonwealth that were refused in the July 2011 ballot due to the 4% limit - these can now be approved if a new application is submitted for the same transfer by 28 February 2012;
  • other transfers to the Commonwealth arising from tenders it conducted in 2010/11 - applications must be submitted by 28 February 2012;
  • transfers to the Goulburn-Broken CMA as part of an expanded on-farm savings program.

These exemptions have been made as part of the Victorian Food Bowl Modernisation Agreement announced on 18 October 2011. They will allow many sellers with Commonwealth contracts to finalise their arrangements. The Trading Rules have been updated and are available here.

A credit/debit card payment form is now available for use when submitting applications to water corporations.

A correction has been made to the calculation of back-trade opportunities to recognise that the traded-out volume carried over from last year may spill. To see the affected back-trade opportunities report click here.

The proposal to phase out cheques as a payment method to the Water Registrar, which was previously advised in May 2011, has been deferred. For more information please read Customer Information Bulletin No. 131/2011.

The ballot process for applications affecting the 4% limit on trade out of irrigation areas was completed on 19 August 2011. The current status of the limit can be found here

A report showing the volume of water allocated or carried over in each of the regulated systems that is currently available for use or trade can now be accessed here.

Allocation bank account statements for 2010-11 are being mailed to Victorian entitlement holders in early August. For more information click here.

DSE is upgrading the security of this website. Registered users have been notified individually that their password will be reset on 19 August 2011. A new password will be sent to each registered email address on that day.

Information for buyers of a water share on the potential impacts of carryover recorded against a water share is now available here.

A ballot process is underway to ensure equitable management of applications that affect the 4% limit on trade out of irrigation areas. The current status of the limit can be found here.

The format of the Copy of Record for water shares and other entitlements recorded in the Victorian Water Register has been updated to show the address of each holder of the entitlement. This reflects a recent amendment to the Water Act 1989 so that addresses are no longer classified as information that must not be publicly available from the water register. To see a sample Copy of Record for a water share click here.

Information is being advertised in rural newspapers updating northern Victorian irrigators on preparing for the 2011-12 irrigation season. The advertisement can be viewed below 


Victorian Water Register fees for some applications will increase on Friday 1 July 2011. For more information click here.

From 1 November 2011, the Water Registrar will no longer accept cheques as a payment method. This only affects payments to the Water Registrar for recording water share transactions, and not applications to rural water corporations.

Preferred payment methods to the Water Registrar include:

  • cash / money orders
  • credit card
  • debit card
  • direct debit


The Water Registrar has also determined that a trustee capacity cannot be recorded on water shares.

For more information please read Customer Information Bulletin No. 129/2011.

The Trading Rules for Declared Systems were amended on 11 April 2011 to temporarily suspend allocation trade from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to the Victorian River Murray system, or to interstate.

The amendment mistakenly treated the Lower Broken Creek (zone 6B) as part of the Goulburn when it should have been treated as part of the Murray. An explanation of this is given below.

This has now been corrected by a further amendment to the Trading Rules (gazetted on 3 May 2011) to include zone 6B in the suspension of trades from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems.

This further amendment has immediate effect.


In making the 11 April 2011 amendment, the Lower Broken Creek (zone 6B) was classified as part of the Goulburn. This was because the water shares there are largely supplied from the Goulburn system (via the East Goulburn Main Channel), and normally the zone has similar trading openings to the Lower Goulburn.

However, this classification was incorrect. The water shares in zone 6B are actually Murray system water shares. The water shares receive Murray allocation, with top-up water coming from the Murray system when Goulburn allocations are lower. Their carryover is deemed to be held in Murray storages, and so is relatively safe from spill in the coming season.

Trade from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to zone 6B would create the same issues as trade to the other Murray trading zones (zones 6 and 7). The water owed to the Murray from Eildon to support this trade is more likely to spill, with adverse consequences on future Murray allocations. Hence the suspension has been extended to cover trades from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to zone 6B.

Note that, as a result of classifying zone 6B as 'Murray', trade from zone 6B to the Murray and to interstate is no longer suspended.

The Minister for Water has approved changes to the trading rules to suspend some allocation trade in order to protect next season’s allocations to Victorian water entitlement holders on the Murray system.

The temporary suspension begins immediately for trade of water allocation -

  • from New South Wales to Victoria, and
  • from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to the Victorian River Murray system, or to interstate.

The suspensions of trade will be in place until 1 July 2011, but may need to be reinstated in certain circumstances.

High Murray-Darling Basin storage levels, huge volumes of unused irrigation water and Victoria’s progressive carryover rules have converged to create exceptional challenges for managing the impacts of allocation trade. This temporary suspension is required because these trades are increasing the obligation to deliver water to users on the Murray but are not supplying a matching volume of additional water. The reasons for this are:

  • Trade from NSW. Under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement accounting rules, any trade from NSW to Victoria immediately transfers water to Victoria’s account in Hume Dam. But when Victoria’s share of Hume is full – as it is now - Victoria cannot store the water and does not gain any water to support the trade.
  • Trade from Goulburn, Campaspe or Loddon. If there was a spill from Lake Eildon in the new season, it would wipe out some or all of the water to be supplied to the Murray or interstate.

Victoria is a strong supporter of trade and regrets the necessity to put these suspensions in place. But it is unfair to allow trade if it is done at the expense of Victorian Murray entitlement holders.

A copy of the Minister for Water's media release is available below. Note that while the Minister's announcement was made on Wednesday 13 April 2011, the suspension actually came into effect when it was gazetted on Monday 11 April 2011.

pdfWalsh - Victoria suspends some water allocation trade 13April2011(PDF - 34 Kb)

The site has been reorganised, with a new menu system to help you find what you're looking for faster.

  • You can now download copies of individual water-use licences, delivery shares, take-and-use licences, and works licences, here.
  • New reports are available in the Water trading section, showing graphical trading history for water share transfers and allocation trades.
  • Information on unregulated surface water and groundwater systems, including restrictions on entitlements currently in place, is available here.

A report on water trade in Victoria in 2009/10 is now available here.