Water trading

Buying and selling water allocation and tagged trade.

As a buyer, water trading can help to meet your usage needs during a dry spell, or when your existing allocation is not enough. As a seller, it can provide an extra source of income for water allocation that you’re not using.

You can trade any unused allocation from your allocation account (ABA). Your ABA must always have a positive balance.

How to trade unused allocation

You can apply to trade water allocation through a water broker or by downloading and submitting a form from the Victorian Water Register (VWR) website.

The price for water needs to be negotiated between the seller and buyer. We don’t play a role in trading price negotiations.

For more information, including statistics on past trades, trade limits and transfer prices, see Allocation trading on the VWR website.

Victorian Water Register

Go to Allocation forms and download Form 39 – Application to trade water allocation. Each Form 39 has a unique application number and can only be used once.

To submit your application:

The fee for 2024-25 is $98.60 (water services are GST exempt).

If you’re emailing your application to us, you will need to contact us to pay the application fee. We can’t process your application until the fee has been paid.

Water broker

You can also buy and sell water through a water broker. Water brokers have their own portal on the VWR and set their own fees.

To find a list of water brokers that meet government standards, see Water broker compliance.

Trading deadlines

Trades are for one irrigation season only. You must apply to trade water before the deadline to have it counted for the current irrigation season.

See Irrigation season dates for details.

Water trading rules and tagged trade

Trading rules govern when an application for water allocation trade can be approved.

Another type of water trade, referred to as ‘tagging’ or ‘tagged trade’, allows you to link (tag) water you hold in one trading zone to a property in another trading zone, allowing water to be used there. Both water shares and water allocation you buy can be tagged. A Ministerial Determination governs the use of water under these tagged trade arrangements, by making tags subject to the same restrictions that apply to allocation trade between the two trading zones. This means that when the related allocation trade is closed, you are prohibited from taking and using water under the tagged arrangement.

To set up a tagged trade arrangement, contact our Rural Customer Team at 1800 808 830.

For more information on water trading rules and tagging, see Trading rules on the Victorian Water Register website.

Water trading strategy

Lower Murray Water owns bulk entitlement and water shares of about 32,500 ML.

Our Water Trading Strategy sets out how we will use our water allocation – for example, how much allocation we will sell and when. This changes each year to reflect seasonal determination and urban water demands.