You can do more with your water instruments than you might think.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) administers the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act) along with the Landscape South Australia (Water Register) Regulations (2020) (the EWR). The Act mandates establishment and maintenance of the Water Register, which is also administered by DEW.

The EWR came into effect on 1 July 2022. These regulations refine and clarify the rules that govern the creation of security interests and caveats in relation to water instruments and also prescribed other administrative improvements to the Water Register.

Water instrument holders can, in specific circumstances prescribed in the EWR, leverage the value of their water rights to borrow money from a commercial lender.

Financiers can register security interests against water instruments, in a similar way they have for a long time in relation to residential and commercial real estate (via SAILIS).

What is a security interest?

A security interest is a record made against a water licence or water access entitlement on the Water Register that secures the payment of a debt or the performance of some other obligation under a contract or other legally enforceable arrangement.

Security Interests:

  • Provide the holder of the security interest (the lender) with a legislative mechanism for the enforcement of the security interest (a ‘power of sale’) in the case of a default by the holder of the interest in the water instrument (the borrower) to which the security interest relates.
  • Provide that certain dealings relating to the interest in the water instrument require the consent of the security interest holder.
  • Provide that a transfer of the water instrument does not expire the security interest unless the security interest is discharged beforehand.
  • Give priority to a security interest over other security interests in the order in which they are lodged, and over all unregistered interests.
  • Expire automatically 15 years after the date of registration (unless extended or discharged earlier).

Security interests cannot be recorded against a water allocation, a delivery capacity entitlement, a site use approval, or a water resource works approval or forest water licences.

If you’d like to know more, the mywater Contact Centre is here to help. Please note, the mywater Contact Centre staff can provide only general information. If you require specific information about your circumstances, you should contact your financial institution.

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