A water allocation is an entitlement to take water. Unlike interim water allocations and water licences, water allocations are assets separate from the land and have their own title. They can thus be held and traded as personal property by non-landholders.
Water allocations are established once the resource operations plan for an area has been approved. Once they have been entered on the water allocations register, they can be traded permanently.
See Water allocations and land valuations: the implications of separating water from the valuation of land (PDF, 147K)* for information on the implications of separating water from the statutory valuation of land and local government rates when a resource operations plan is introduced.
An announced allocation is a declaration detailing the percentage of the maximum volume of a water allocation (determined by inflow into rivers and dams) that may be taken during a water year, from a supplemented supply, and from some groundwater areas.
For example, if the nominal volume of a water allocation is 100 ML, and the announced allocation is 95% (because of reduced inflow into a dam as a result of reduced rainfall), then the amount of water the holder is authorised to take under the allocation for that water year is 95 ML.
Water allocation lease
A water allocation lease is similar to a lease of land; however, only whole water allocations can be leased.
Leasing a water allocation transfers all the benefits and responsibilities of holding it to the lessee for the period of the lease (e.g. when an increase in announced allocation is made after an inflow), the additional water is available to the lessee.
Leases must be registered on the Water Allocations Register, but they do not require the prior approval of the department.
Interim water allocation
An interim water allocation is attached to land (only in supplemented water systems), before a resource operations plan has been finalised. An interim allocation can be obtained by purchasing land to which one is attached.
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Last updated 27 March 2009