Latest News

2nd July 2018

Water Trading in the Coastal Burnett Management Area

Water Trading in the Coastal Burnett Management Area

Seasonal water trading

often referred to as seasonal water assignment or temporary trade allows any available water to be purchased and used by another person at any time during the water year (1 July to 30 June), much like leasing. At the end of the water year the entitlement returns to the original owner. Seasonal water trading is available for both Water Allocations in Area A and Water Licences in Area B.

Permanent water trading

is only available to Water Allocation holders in Area A. This may be an option for those seeking to expand their enterprise or for water users who may not require their full allocation. Water allocations can also be subdivided or long-term leased similar to land titles.


Water trading offers many benefits to buyers and sellers, by enabling unused water to be available in high demand areas, respond to market and seasonal changes or potentially support on-farm water management costs.


To prevent impacts on other groundwater users there are set limits on how much water can be traded from one zone to another. Your water licence or allocation indicates which zone your entitlement is located in (note: polygons no longer exist). Generally there are no limits to trading within a zone.

Trading rules

are outlined in the Burnett Basin Water Management Protocol (formerly Resource Operations Plan). The department has developed online trading calculators to assist with this process.

Finding a buyer or seller

Interested parties can contact water trading brokers, register their interest with peak industry bodies or even ask their neighbours. It’s important to note that the department does not play a role in the brokering of water trades.

Water trading calculators

have been developed to assist water entitlement holders assess the potential for water trading.

The calculator allows you to simply enter your zone and proposed volume of water to check if the trade is possible under the rules in place.

The calculator can also be used to check the volume of water that can be moved into a zone and what zones you can trade water to.

There are separate water trading calculators for both seasonal (example shown below) and permanent trading.

Application process If the trading calculator indicates your proposed trade would be possible then you can proceed with your application. Go to, then search and select Forms and fees for water authorisations

Seasonal trade—submit application to DNRME. Use form W2F016 for water licences in Area B or form W2F020 for water allocations in Area A.

Permanent trade and leasing—requires an approved dealing certificate from DNMRE before submitting to the Titles Registry Office. Please contact the Bundaberg Office for assistance.


16-32 Enterprise St, Bundaberg, Phone: 07 4131 2374 Email: