This initiative ensures delivery of important policy work refining water user entitlements and water markets, to enhance Victoria's water market and meet legal and policy obligations.

Water user entitlements policy work includes: solving any problems arising from the unbundling of entitlements; improving the quality of data attached to entitlement records; ensuring that overuse is appropriately handled; continuing to improve the management of take-and-use licences; continuing to implement and communicate carryover reforms; and better defining entitlements and improving their administration.Water markets policy work includes: liberalising or adjusting trading rules where necessary, including changes that flow from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan; providing improved market information; dealing with factors having a major impact on the market, such as the Commonwealth's purchase program; policy work to allow further streamlining of trade processing in the water register; and exploring options for extending market mechanisms.

Total EC3 investment to date: $3.23 m

2012-13 expenditure: $0.7956 m 
2013-14 expenditure: $0.6753 m 
2014-15 expenditure: $0.7368 m 
2015-16 expenditure: $1.0231 m


Since 2012, this initiative has delivered important policy work refining water user entitlements and water markets.  Some of the major achievements have been:

  • implementation of new legislation, trading rules and water register enhancements to ensure Victorian compliance with the Basin Plan trading rules;
  • codified standards for limiting trade where necessary, and creation of live online reports showing opportunities to trade and back-trade against these limits;
  • policy development for online allocation trade approvals, providing water users with instant results and a much lower application fee;
  • auditing of water brokers using the online approvals system, showing no major issues but some opportunities for improvement;
  • communication initiatives, including a totally revised water register website, giving more information to water entitlement holders and water users; and a range of other tools to help people manage their water assets.
  • policy development for the introduction of Victorian winter-fill sustainable diversion limit data into the Water Register, enabling faster approval of applications to trade licences in unregulated surface water systems;
  • Improvements in market information and transparency, including the release of a long-term look into the Victorian water market with the Market Trends report, as well as development of annual reports on: the water market; use and entitlements held across Victoria; and a detailed report on water ownership in northern Victoria.

Page last updated: 30/10/18