Relocatable water licence market

A water licence is an entitlement to take water which is attached to land therefore, unlike a water allocation, it is not an asset in its own right. Water licences cannot normally be sold independent of land unless there are management rules in place which allow permanent transfers (relocations) to occur.

The rules for managing relocations are outlined either in the respective water management protocol, operations manual or within the water sharing rules for a water management area.

Any proposed relocation of a water licence is assessed against a set of relocation rules which aim to ensure that the change in location does not adversely impact on the water security of existing entitlements or the environment.

The relocation of a water licence enables a licensee to transfer ownership of the entitlement, permanently moving the licence from the land to which it is attached, to another parcel of land within the confines of the rules. This process differs from permanent water allocation trading whereby water allocations are traded independently of land titles and have their own registrable title (i.e. water can be held by someone who does not own land).

Licences may be relocated in the following plan areas: Barron, Condamine and Balonne, Cooper Creek, Great Artesian Basin, Gulf and Wet Tropics. Follow the links to check the rules and limitations.

Furthermore, relocatable water licences are available in the following groundwater management areas: Central Condamine Alluvium, Dalrymple Creek and Oakey Creek.

Provision can be made for relocatable licences, either through the preparation of a draft water management protocol or as part of the water sharing rules in a water management area. Consultation during implementation of relocatable licences is undertaken through public notice, letters and stakeholder meetings which outline in detail the implications for affected water entitlement holders.

To ascertain whether a water licence is relocatable within a particular area, please refer to the relevant catchment area where copies of approved water management protocols or water sharing rules may be accessed.

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