Transfer of Entitlements (Surface Water)

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) facilitates the permanent and temporary transfer of unregulated surfacewater licences under the provisions of Section 62 of the Water Act 1989.

Application forms are available at our Forms page.

Download a fact sheet, trading zone map or list of exchange rate trade opportunities here:

Why transfer an unregulated surfacewater licence?

Transferring a licence allows existing licence holders to maximise the value of their licence by trading their unused entitlement. Trading provides the opportunity for other licence holders in compatible trading zones to access additional water entitlement.

How do I find out if my licence can be transferred?

A Licence to Take and Use Water is issued within a particular trading zone which relates to the source of the water. Identifying the trading zone for the licence is the first step in determining where a licence can be traded to or from.

There are a number of other considerations that must be taken into account before G-MW can approve an application for a permanent transfer. Trading rules are specified in the Policies for Managing Take and Use Licences (the Policies) issued by the Minister for Water, and also specified in local management rules and management plans.

If I am purchasing a licence volume and I do not currently hold a licence do I need to apply separately?

Yes, before your trade can be approved you will need to apply for a Licence to Take and Use Water. This application will be assessed and a site inspection will be undertaken to review the existing or proposed pump site.

If this application is approved you will be issued with a licence to Take and use Water which will contain a number of licence conditions relating to the take and use of water you trade in.

Where can I access more information about trading opportunities and current prices in my area?

You should download the fact sheets which contain information about trading rules and procedures. You can also contact the Licensing Unit at GMW to confirm the trading rules applicable to your licence prior to proceeding to purchase or sell a licence.

GMW cannot provide you with information on the current market value of water. If you decide to proceed with an application, information about market activity and pricing can be obtained from your local water broker. Details of brokers in your area can be located in the Yellow Pages or through advertisements in your local newspaper.

Water Use Compliance

Water is a precious and limited resource. It is critical to our economy, environment and communities. This is why water needs to managed fairly for all water users. GMW takes a zero-tolerance approach to water theft to ensure equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing.

It’s illegal to take and use more water than allowed under your entitlement. Whenever a little more water is taken than is allowed, it can easily add up and there is limited water to go around.

Water theft affects everyone in your community and it is important that individual water users do not adversely impact other users or Victoria’s environmental values. Individual water users should make sure they have the right authorisations before they take water from a dam, bore, stream, river, creek or irrigation channel.

A zero-tolerance to water theft provides equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing. If you see something, say something. To report an alleged breach/offence, phone us on 1800 013 357. 

For more information on compliance and enforcement at GMW, please see our Water Use Compliance page.