Water users and participants in South Australia’s water market will benefit from a $14.7m program to reform South Australia's ageing water licensing system and automate and improve statewide and interstate water trading.
Funding was secured in early 2019 allowing for a new system at its cornerstone a customer-centric State Water Register that is online and accessible from mobile devices.
The provision of more robust and reliable register services will enhance the ability of South Australian water-dependent businesses to utilise water licences as collateral for loans. The amendments will also promote confidence to trade and invest in water licences, supporting business resilience, innovation and commercial competitiveness. These amendments are considered essential to provide a suitable scheme for the registration of security interests and to support the roll out of the WMS program by mid 2021.
The delivery of these services will also reduce transaction costs and red tape and support more efficient business decision making by parties seeking to trade and invest in water licences.
Through automation and other business improvements, water users and water market participants will benefit from:
- an accessible and accountable State Water Register that supports customer trading and environmental water use
- efficient water trading and accurate reporting based on timely data
- access to more knowledge and improved confidence in making critical decisions about water
- improved intra and interstate water trading by reducing trading times and better integration of data interfaces between the South Australian, New South Wales and Victorian water management and accounting systems
- the flexibility to buy and sell water when it is needed
- improved responsiveness to future drivers such as more extreme droughts, floods or changes to policy and regulations.
The initiative responds to early engagement with key stakeholders – including growers, water traders and brokers, irrigators, financiers, bore drillers and dam constructors – around where improvements could be made on the current ageing water management system.
The new system is expected to be operational by mid 2021 with its development being led by the Water Management Solutions team within the Department for Environment and Water in collaboration with industry stakeholders.
The $14.7 million program is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the South Australian Government.
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