What is a Water Share?
A Water Share is defined by a specific volume of water, which is further defined by a number of attributes with the main ones being type, reliability, delivery source and delivery use. A Water Share also defined the maximum amount of allocation that can be made against it each season. This seasonal allocation is credited into an Allocation Bank Account (ABA) that is linked to the Water Share. The ABA account keeps track of allocations available and any water that you use or trade.
A common example of a water share is Goulburn system, high reliability water share that has a delivery source of 1A Greater Goulburn Delivered in the Shepparton Irrigation District. A Water Share is identified by the numbers starting with WEE.
Each Water System in Victoria has a specific number of Water Shares. A public register of all Water Share entitlements is held and this information is publically available on the Victorian Water Register website. You can access information including the total number of water shares and the total volume of water shares. The information is broken down into trading Zone Source. You can also buy a copy of Water Share Record on the Victorian Water Register.
In Victoria there are a number of resources, being the Goulburn, Murray, Campaspe, Broken, Bullarook, Ovens and Loddon systems in the north of the state, and the Werribee, Thomson/Macalister in the south of the state.
Water Shares can be held independently from land and have their own legal title. As a separate asset, you can trade some or all of this water share, you can mortgage the asset, or you can lease the asset. Integra has a strong market for trading water shares in the Goulburn and Murray systems, with the smaller systems trading regularly. The Victorian Water Register reports on the statistics of all trades.
Trading Water Shares
A Water Share can be sold or traded to another party. Historically water shares were owned by people who owned irrigation land. Over the last decade we have seen the rules change and now it is not a requirement to have land in an irrigation district to own water - anyone can own a water share.
Permanent trading a Water Share means the permanent transfer of the ownership to another party, and then this entitles the new owner of the Water Share to receive seasonal Allocations into the future. The sale of a water share is similar in nature to the sale of land -it is a much lengthier process as it is the sale of a capital asset. Water Authority applications and Water Authority identity checks for the Vendor/s, plus signing of Contracts and payment of funds take time. If the water share is encumbered with a mortgage, then Mortgagee must give written consent to the transfer of ownership. As such, the process to trade Water Shares takes a minimum of around 5 – 6 weeks but can take longer if all parties involved take longer to return the paperwork.
There is a strong market for buying and selling water shares. At Integra Water Services we pride ourselves on providing clients with quality service that encompasses all aspects of trading water – whether you’re the buyer or seller. Our attention to detail, knowledge of the water industry and our excellent administration system ensures that the water trading experience is straightforward and stress free.
Integra have the added security in place to use a legal firm to handle settlement of the water share transactions. This gives their clients peace of mind that funds are protected in a Solicitors regulated trust account.