A NSW Government website

Licensing and trade


The Department formulates policies relating to trade of water licences, and conducts public consultations and research to facilitate water market reform.

At Argonauts Park in Trangie New South Wales Australia.

About trade

The department's Water Group is responsible for formulating policy related to the trade of water licences, while Water NSW manages the trading of water access licences, licence entitlements and water allocations.

This section contains information about policies and market research relating to water trading in NSW.

Why trade water licences?

Water licences are a valuable asset.

In water-sharing plan areas, you can trade water access licences, licence entitlements and water allocations. These trades are referred to as ‘dealings’.

Trading helps you to manage your water requirements to suit your needs.

Statistics about trading in your area are available on the NSW Water Register.

Foreign ownership of water licences

Foreign owners may need to register their interest in certain water assets. The Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements (Water Register) gives information on foreign ownership of Australia’s water entitlements. The Commissioner of Taxation publishes annual reports on foreign ownership of water.

Trade dashboard

Data visualisation tool to analyse volumes and prices of water allocations and entitlements being traded.

Water market reform

Find out more about the development of a roadmap for implementation of the ACCC recommendations for water market reform.

Consultation on water market transparency in NSW

We sought feedback until 31 January 2021 on our water market information platforms to understand what information we should be sharing and

Change to trade of Domestic and Stock (Stock) licence allocations due to the drought

The ALDP amendment order will allow for trade of water allocations but will only apply to licensed stock use. Find out more.

Review of inter-valley trade from the Peel to Lower Namoi

The department commissioned an independent review of the issues and options for trade from the Peel to the Lower Namoi. Read the report.

Trade of water allocations by local water utilities

Find out more about the department’s role in assessing applications for trade by local water utilities.

Jindabyne Dam is a dam across the Snowy River in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales in Australia.

Water markets in NSW

The Water Markets in New South Wales report (PDF, 5907.83 KB) is a NSW-first in-depth analysis of the emerging water market. The report highlights the development of the market since its inception and opportunities for both Government and the water industry to drive further growth.

Aither's presentation is a summary of the report and key report findings.

Download Aither's presentation (PDF, 1679.06 KB)