Unauthorised water take: Exceeding your water entitlement

Helping you ensure you only use water you're authorised to take

Why is exceeding my water entitlement a problem?

It is illegal to take and use more water than allowed under you entitlement.

Any water used in excess of entitlement means less water available for other entitlement holders.

The Victorian Government and GMW has a zero-tolerance to unauthorised water take.


Tips to ensure you're avoiding unauthorised water take

There are many ways you can avoid exceeding your water entitlement. These include:

  • Make sure you have enough water available in your Allocation Bank Account (ABA) and allow enough time for Allocation Trades to be processed.
  • Place irrigation orders through WaterLINE.
  • Read your meters regularly and closely monitor your use against entitlement.
  • Check your current usage and entitlement figures regularly. They’re available on WaterLINE at any time or on request from your local GMW office during business hours for regulated water users.
  • Check if restrictions and/or bans apply to your waterway.
  • If you are in any doubt, phone our Customer Call Centre on 1800 013 357.

What happens if I exceed my water entitlement?

You will receive a phone call or a letter advising you of the situation.

We understand it is most often unintentional and we’ll work with you to resolve the problem. However, it’s a serious issue. Unauthorised take means any negative balance at any time and a zero tolerance approach means any negative balance will be met with enforcement action.

Customers who do not correct their negative balance may have their access to the system restricted, be issued with a penalty infringement notice, face prosecution or have their licence suspended or cancelled.

Correcting your negative balance

Options to correct include:

  • Those with high-reliability water share associated to another property can apply to have it linked to the ABA that has exceeded its entitlement. This is done by filling out a Form 40 – we can help you do this.
  • Trade allocation into the ABA that has a negative balance.
  • For unregulated surface water diverters and groundwater users you can transfer unused entitlement.

Trading water allocation to your ABA

To trade water allocation to your ABA you can:

  • Purchase water from someone you know;
  • Transfer water from another property you own, or;
  • Purchase water through a water broker. Water broker information is available on our website.
  • The relevant forms can be found on the Water Register website at www.waterregister.vic.gov.au, opens in a new window and submitted to GMW. 

More information and assistance

Please phone our Customer Call Centre on 1800 013 357 or email reception@gmwater.com.au 

Information on your allocation is always available

Seasonal determination for irrigators on the gravity system are managed by the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria and regular updates can be found at www.nvrm.net.au

We also provide current advice and information for our diversions customers on our website at www.gmwater.com.au.

This factsheet is one in a series explaining compliance & enforcement at GMW. You can find this series and further information about water use compliance on the GMW website at www.gmwater.com.au/compliance  

For enquiries call GMW on 1800 013 357 or email us via compliance@gmwater.com.au 

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