Voluntary trading of water entitlements is an effective means for maximising the benefits of using water to individuals and the broader community.
The Department grants water entitlements transactions in Western Australia under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.
This Act allows licensees to transfer water entitlements, permanently or temporarily, to allow another person to use part or all of their licensed water supply.
- encourage the efficient use of resources
- provide opportunities for new water users to access limited resources
- enable the migration of water to uses of higher economic value
- assigns appropriate value to water entitlements.
Transactions are most common when a water resource becomes fully allocated. But they can occur at any time, subject to approval by the department.
The department's Operational policy 5.13: Water entitlement transactions for Western Australia provides a framework for water entitlements.
The policy describes:
- How to apply to transact a water entitlement
- Who is eligible
- The department's criteria for assessment
- The role of water allocation plans
- How environmental issues are addressed
- How the department manages security interests.
The water register may help identify an existing licensee that you may find to be eligible as a trading partner.
The value of a water entitlement will depend on demand, the location, and the conditions of the licence.
The department does not set prices, provide information about the value of past transactions, or participate in any market in water entitlements that has been created.
Stamp duty may apply to water entitlement transactions. A water licence is dutiable property, and the transfer of dutiable property is classified as a dutiable transaction under the Duties Act 2008. Therefore, the transfer of a water licence, or a water entitlement under a licence, is subject to duty.
The department must not register (grant) the transfer until it receives evidence that the required duty has been paid or is exempt from payment.
Contact the Office of State Revenue for details.
Frequently asked questions about trades, transfers and agreements.