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Water trading restrictions quick reference table

The below table provides examples of some major water trading restrictions in operation across Australia. This is not an exhaustive list of rules and restrictions, but a summary of major restrictions only. For more information about these or other rules or restrictions refer to the National rules page and State/territory rules page.

Examples of trading rules
Trading rule Product impacted Description NSW Vic Qld SA ACT WA Tas NT
Connectivity of the water systems Allocation Water can only be traded between water supply schemes that are hydrologically connected. See the State/territory rules page for details in your jurisdiction. Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick
Allocation limit Allocation Amount of water that can be made available for consumptive use in a particular area under the rules specified in the water resource plans. This affects the volume of water available for trading. See the allocation announcements in Water allocations and the State/territory rules page for details in your jurisdiction. Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick
Specific transfer restrictions Allocation / entitlement Specific transfer restrictions are in place for each area or zone, which may limit inter-valley trading, interstate trading, trading between groundwater areas and trading volumes.
See the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement (Schedule D - Permissible Transfers between Trading Zones) Protocol 2010  and the State/territory rules page for details in your jurisdiction.
Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick
Basin cap Allocation Applies a limit on the amount of water that can be diverted from the Murray-Darling river system for consumptive uses (agricultural, industrial or domestic purposes). This limit impacts the amount of water available for consumptive use, hence the water available for trading.
The Cap is managed in accordance to the rules specified in the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement Schedule F .
Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Cross Cross Cross
Trade closure dates Allocation Prohibits trade for a water resource following a particular date as specified in the relevant water resource plan.
See the administrative instruments for each jurisdiction.
Tick Tick Tick Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross
Carryover arrangements Allocation The maximum volume of unused water that can be carried over from one year to the next within specified limits, usually subject to volume and time limits as well as usage restrictions. Carryover rules are specified in the Water Sharing Plans and the Resource Operational Plans (ROPs) in each state and territory.
See the administrative instruments for each jurisdiction.
Tick Tick Tick Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross
Barmah Choke Allocation The Barmah Choke imposes a channel capacity constraint to the volume of water that can be supplied to the lower reaches of the Murray River (limit on upstream water to be traded downstream). The channel is narrow and the maximum flow that can pass through is about 8,000 ML per day.
See the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement (Schedule D Permissible Transfers between Trading Zones) Protocol 2010  or the Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray and Lower Darling Regulated River Water Source .
Tick Tick Cross Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross
4% trade-out limit Entitlement Annual threshold that restricts the volume of water access entitlements that can be traded-out permanently of an irrigation district. It is intended that the cap will be phased out from July 2011 and completely removed by 2014.
See the Victorian water register water trading rules page  and the 4% trade out report for previous years .
Cross Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross
Murrumbidgee 100,000 ML undelivered water limit Allocation Applies a limit on the amount of undelivered water that can be traded out of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Once this limit is reached, no more trade can be conducted until the volume of undelivered water is reduced.
See the Water Sharing Plan for the Murrumbidgee Regulated River Water Source .
Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross
Menindee Lakes 480 GL rule Allocation Prohibits allocation trade in the Lower Darling River Valley if the volume of water in the Menindee Lakes falls below 480 GL.
See the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement (Schedule D Permissible Transfers between Trading Zones) Protocol 2010  or the Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray and Lower Darling Regulated River Water Source .
Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross
Snowy Borrows Entitlement Irrigators negotiate for water to be released from Snowy earlier than it would normally be, with the balance to be paid back at a later date. All water entitlements on the account associated with the Snowy Borrow have a Snowy Borrow encumbrance which restricts the tradeability of the entitlement. Tick Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross Cross