Water extraction licences
Water trading is an exchange of a water entitlement between:
- a buyer (the water licence holder who gets more water) and
- a seller (the water licence holder whose water entitlement is reduced).
How water trading works
You can only trade water within a declared water allocation plan area.
Each water allocation plan will have guidelines that apply to water trading. If you want to trade water, you should read the trade guidelines in the water allocation plan that applies to your licence. You can find out more about declared areas on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.
Find someone to trade with
The department publishes a public register of approved water licences, which can be used to find licence holders to trade water with.
Negotiate the details
The buyer and seller must negotiate the details of the trade including the:
- amount and security of water
- length of time the water will be traded
- price for the water (if any).
The department is not involved in the negotiations between the buyer and seller.
Apply to trade water
Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the trade, they must complete the application form and send it to the department to be assessed. The department will aim to finalise simple trade applications within two weeks.
It will take longer to process trades that:
- are for more than 1,000 megalitres (ML)
- require a new licence to be granted
- are in or impact on groundwater dependent ecosystem areas or groundwater discharge protection areas.
A water trade only takes effect once the controller of water resources has approved the trade.
Step 1. Fill in the form
To trade water you need to fill in the form below.
The buyer and seller must both complete and sign the form. You should review the checklist included on the form to ensure you have included all the information and documents.
Step 2. Submit
You can submit the form and all supporting documents by:
- emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- mailing it to Water Licensing, 32 Giles Street, Katherine NT 0852.
Get a print friendly version of the water trading fact sheet .
Last updated: 01 May 2020
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