Approvals and registration
Not all water allocation dealings require approval from the Department of Environment and Resource Management (the department). However, for any dealing to have effect, all relevant documents must be lodged for registration on the Water Allocations Register. The different types of dealings are explained below.
Dealings involving interstate water trading may also have additional requirements to consider. See the interstate water trading page for further details.
- Dealings that require prior approval
- Order of registration of documents
- Dealings that do not require prior approval
Dealings that require prior approval
Dealings affecting the registered, resource-related attributes of a water allocation, for example its location, which must be approved by the department before registration include:
The allocation holder must obtain approval for these dealings from the department which will issue a water allocation dealing certificate.
Before it expires, this certificate must be registered on the Water Allocations Register using a Form 14—General Request (PDF, 74K)* or the dealing will lapse and cannot be registered until a new certificate is provided.
Depending on whether the allocation is for supplemented or unsupplemented supply and whether or not it is mortgaged, additional registration requirements may apply.
Some of the registered, resource-related attributes of a water allocation can be changed or modified to meet a buyer’s or a seller’s needs, or to accommodate a holder who may want to change their allocation but has no intention of selling it.
The most common change sought is to move the allocation to a different location. This is a zone specified in a resource operations plan, typically a reach of a river, from which water can be taken. Each resource operations plan includes trading rules detailing permitted and prohibited changes to water allocations in the area.
To help determine if a potential change will be approved, the allocation holder should consider the combined volumetric current water allocation locations for each zone. See water allocation location tables for more information.
If a proposed change doesn't specifically relate to the trading rules, the applicant may be required to carry out a more substantial investigation which includes publicly advertising the application. However, there is still no guarantee of approval.
A water allocation can be subdivided into two or more parts so that a part of the original allocation can be sold or its attributes changed.
Two or more allocations with the same attributes can be amalgamated to create a new allocation. If the attributes are not the same, for example if they authorise taking water from different locations, the holder must apply to the department to change the location of one or more of them, as they must all have the same attributes before they can be amalgamated.
Before amalgamation, multiple holders must also ensure that the tenancy arrangements they have registered are identical for each water allocation.
Order of registration of documents
Applicants may be required to lodge documents in a particular order when submitting multiple dealings for registration on the Water Allocation Register. For example, if one part of a subdivided allocation is to be changed, the subdivision must be entered on the Water Allocation Register before the water allocation dealing certificate is lodged.
- Contact Titles Registration for information on the order of document registration.
- See the land titles section of the department website for further information and for guides to completing titling forms.
Dealings that do not require prior approval
Leases or transfers of water allocations do not require approval from the department as they don't affect their registered, resource-related attributes, for example their location or purpose. However to have effect, all relevant documents must be registered on the Water Allocations Register.
There are various additional registration requirements for these dealings, depending on whether the allocations are for supplemented or unsupplemented supply and whether or not they are mortgaged.
To register on the Water Allocations Register, a transfer, lease, subdivision, amalgamation or change of an allocation taken from supplemented supply, for example water released from dams, must be accompanied by a Notice to Registrar of Water Allocations of Existence of Supply Contract (PDF, 112K)* with the supply scheme operator, for example SunWater.
To transfer or lease an unsupplemented water allocation, the holder must supply the department with a Notice of Proposed Transfer or Lease of Unsupplemented Water Allocation (PDF, 69K)*, which is not strictly an approval. The department will then issue a water allocation dealing certificate acknowledging the proposed transfer or lease.
For the transfer or lease to be registered, the dealing certificate must be lodged at the same time as either a Form 1—Transfer (PDF, 156K)* and a Form 24—Property Transfer Information (PDF, 169K)* or a Form 7—Lease/Sublease (PDF, 88K)*.
Mortgaged water allocations
Like land, a water allocation can be mortgaged. If the allocation is being sold, the seller must complete and submit a Form 3—Release of Mortgage (PDF, 80K)*, so that the transfer documents can be registered.
Similarly, the registrar will not record the subdivision or amalgamation of a mortgaged allocation unless the mortgagee consents to the dealing by completing and submitting a Form 18—General Consent (PDF, 65K)*.
If there is a mortgage on a water allocation that is being changed, the holder should also consider any possible mortgagee requirements.
Water-related developments are constructed works that take or interfere with water from watercourses, lakes, springs, aquifers or overland flow, for example pumping equipment, diversion channels, weirs, barrages, dams and bores.
Before taking any water under your entitlement, you will need to obtain a development permit for any necessary water-related developments, for example installing a watercourse pump.
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Last updated 1 March 2011