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Water trading and register

Water entitlements transactions in Western Australia are granted by the Department of Water under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

Water transactions can occur at any time, subject to approval by the department.

The aims of water trading include:

  • encouraging the efficient use of water resources (within allocation limits) by providing the opportunity to capitalise on water savings
  • enabling the migration of water to uses of higher economic value
  • appropriately valuing water resources
  • enabling the re-allocation of water resources, including opportunities for new water users to access limited water resources.

Water trading policy

Operational policy 5.13: Water entitlement transactions for Western Australia (previously Statewide policy 6 Transferable (tradeable) water entitlements for Western Australia) can be downloaded here.

It contains information on water entitlement transactions such as:

  • eligibility
  • how an application to transact a water entitlement can be made
  • criteria for assessment and forms for processing transactions
  • the role of water allocation plans
  • how environmental issues are addressed
  • security interests

Water register

The 'Water Register' is a web based program designed to assist the general public to search, view and print licensing and water availability information. View the register.

The register includes the following details for all 'In Force' water licence instruments —

  • the nature of the water licence instrument
  • the period for which it is in force
  • the name and business address of the licensee
  • a description of the water resource to which the instrument relates, including the locality in which, and a legal description of the land on which, it is situated
  • details relating to any security interest in the licence that the CEO is required to note on the register
  • details of any conviction of a person referred to in paragraph (c) for an offence against the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 and
  • any other details that are prescribed by the regulations.

Note: Information contained on this site is for general purposes only. Only “in force” (current) licences to take water are displayed on the register and the nature of the instrument is displayed as GWL (groundwater licence), SWL (surface water licence) or VTL (variable take licence). Please note VTL licences are part of a 3 year trial and are not tradable licences. All applications for water licenses are still subject to the department's final assessment. For further information on the application and assessment processes, click here.

Also note: stamp duty may apply to applications to transfer or trade. Please contact the Office of State Revenue or refer to FAQ 4: Transfers, trades and agreements  for further information.


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