Water markets and trade
Water trade allows for the efficient redistribution of water and is an important mechanism for managing the Murray-Darling Basin’s scarce water resources.
South Australia is part of the southern-connected Murray-Darling Basin water market which is a connected water resource covering parts of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
There are two main types of water rights traded in the Basin - entitlements and allocations:
- Water access entitlements are rights to an ongoing share of the total amount of water available in a system.
- Water allocations are the actual amount of water available under water access entitlements in a given season.
Water trade dashboards
The dashboards include data on the volume and price of water traded through time.
ACCC Murray-Darling Basin Water Market Inquiry
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was directed on 7 August 2019 to conduct an inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray-Darling Basin, the Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry.
This inquiry is now completed with the ACCC publishing its ACCC Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry final report at 26 March 2021.
The ACCC made 29 recommendations grouped in the themes of:
- market integrity and conduct
- trade processing and water market information
- market architecture
- governance of the Basin water markets.
The Department for Environment and Water is reviewing the findings in conjunction with other Basin governments and will develop a joint response and implementation strategy with due consideration to financial and water management implications, as well as existing reforms already underway in South Australia.
For more information on water trade:
- Water trading rules for the Murray-Darling Basin.
- Water licensing and your local Trade Approval Authority who will support you with your trade application.
- Water market products also referred to as tradeable water rights.
- Water Announcements including allocation and carryover announcements, and the River Murray Flow Report.
- Water-related resources and data on water trade in South Australia is available on WaterConnect.