What is a bulk entitlement?

A bulk entitlement is a legal right to take and use water granted under the Water Act 1989.

Who can hold a bulk entitlement?

Bulk entitlements can be held by water corporations, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and other specified bodies defined in the Water Act 1989 (section 34).

What rights and responsibilities are granted under a bulk entitlement?

In accordance with the section 43 of the Water Act 1989, bulk entitlements may specify a range of conditions and obligations on its holder, including:

  • Rules about when, where and how much water can be taken;
  • Rules about how the water can be used;
  • Rules about the right to a share of storage capacity and share of inflows;
  • Obligations to release flows for environmental uses;
  • Obligations to supply primary entitlement holders;
  • Obligations to contribute to the payment of operation and maintenance costs; and
  • Obligations to meter, maintain accounts and report.

Where can I access bulk entitlement information?

Bulk entitlements are recorded in the Victorian Water Register. You can access copies of the bulk entitlement orders on the Victorian Water Register website

How are bulk entitlements created?

The Minister for Water can issue bulk entitlements under the Water Act 1989 in two ways:

  • Conversion of a pre-existing right to water into a bulk entitlement (section 47); or
  • Granting a new bulk entitlement (section 43).

A potential bulk entitlement holder must apply to the Minister for Water for the conversion or granting of a bulk entitlement. The Minister Water must consider any applications in accordance with the procedures specified in the Water Act 1989.

Can bulk entitlements be amended?

Yes, under section 44 of the Water Act 1989 bulk entitlement holders can apply to the Minister for Water to amend an existing bulk entitlement.

Can bulk entitlements be traded?

Bulk entitlements may be transferred under section 46D of the Water Act 1989 provided the holder has applied for and obtained approval from the Minister for Water.

Water allocation made available under bulk entitlements may also be assigned to another person under Section 46A of the Water Act 1989 in accordance with trading rules.

Applications to issue or amend a bulk entitlement

When the Minister for Water receives an application for a new bulk entitlement or to amend an existing bulk entitlement, the requirements set out in the Water Act 1989 is followed, including:

  • Applications are advertised in local newspapers and on this website;
  • Depending on the nature of the proposal, the application process may involve consultation with stakeholders and local communities and submissions to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning or the applicant. The purpose of this consultation is to identify the potential impacts of the proposal, including any adverse impacts on existing water users and the environment;
  • The Minister for Water will consider any submissions received before making a determination on the application; and
  • New bulk entitlements or amendments are granted through an order from the Minister for Water or the Governor in Council and published in the Victoria Government Gazette

Applications pending approval

1. Amendment of Goulburn-Murray Water’s Eildon-Goulburn Weir, River Murray, Campaspe and Loddon bulk entitlements

The Minister for Water has received an application from Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) to amend its Eildon-Goulburn Weir, River Murray, Campaspe and Loddon systems bulk entitlements under section 44 of the Water Act 1989. These changes are required to support the final audit and reconciliation of water recovery from the Connections Project and ensure the entitlement issue doesn’t have an impact on other water users or the environment.

For more information visit the Goulburn-Murray Water bulk entitlements webpage

2. Melbourne water retail water corporations applications for bulk entitlement Amendments and granting of New bulk entitlements in the Goulburn and Murray systems (Melbourne Distribution Share from the Connections Project)

The Minister for Water has received applications from the Melbourne retail water corporations - South East Water (SEW), Yarra Valley Water (YVW) and Greater Western Water (GWW) - to amend existing bulk entitlements and to be granted new bulk entitlements in the Goulburn and Murray systems, in line with the Water Act 1989. The applications relate to the distribution of the Melbourne retail water corporations’ share of water recovered from Stage 1 of the Connections Project to reflect their $300 million investment.

For more information visit Melbourne retail water corporations new and bulk entitlement Amendments webpage

3. Victorian Environmental Water Holder application for bulk and environmental entitlement Amendments (Adjustments to the environment’s share of water)

The Minister for Water has received applications from the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) to amend the River Murray Flora and Fauna Bulk Entitlement and its environmental entitlements for the Goulburn and Campaspe systems, in line with the Water Act 1989. This reflects updated long-term diversion limit equivalence (LTDLE) factors, improve water recovery estimates, and brings the entitlements in-line with other beneficiaries’ final water recovery amounts.

For more information visit Victorian Environmental Water Holder application for bulk and environmental entitlement Amendments

Recently approved requests

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Page last updated: 21/04/22