Water trading rules

There are a range of rules operating together to govern water trade in the River Murray and the broader southern-connected Murray-Darling Basin, including:

  • rules in the overarching Commonwealth Basin Plan 2012, which all Basin States must comply with
  • rules in state water planning or water sharing instruments such as water allocation plans in South Australia and water sharing plans in New South Wales. The state rules are tailored according to the specific circumstances of each water resource; the legislation that governs those water resources and the rights to take and use water that are made available in each water resource.

Basin Plan water trading rules

The Basin Plan water trading rules commenced on 1 July 2014 and aim to:

  • reduce restrictions on trade
  • improve transparency and access to information
  • improve market confidence through a more effective water market.

South Australia’s water trading rules for the River Murray

The trading rules for the South Australian River Murray are contained in Chapter 7 (Transfers of water access entitlements and water allocations) of the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse[SA_11].

South Australia’s Water Trading Rules for the River Murray are consistent with the Basin Plan Water Trading Rules and the department has implemented a range of initiatives to meet the Basin Plan’s objectives including in relation to:

  • making amendments to rules in the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse to lift restrictions on trade or clarify trading rules
  • adopting internal policies to ensure water announcements are timely and sensitive water market information is appropriately managed
  • requiring trade applicant’s to supply price information on transfer form and improving price data provision
  • publishing information about the Minister’s trading of water for the environment for transparency.

For more information about the River Murray water market trading rules and arrangements please contact the department's Water Licensing team in Berri on (08) 8595 2053.