National Water Market System

The Australian Government is working with the state and territory governments to develop a National Water Market System that will improve the efficiency of water registers and transactions and the availability of market information.

The National Water Market System (NWMS) project is a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) water reform initiative. The Australian Government is investing $56 million in the development of the NWMS

The NWMS will contribute to water market reform in Australia as part of the National Water Initiative.

The National Water Market System project

  • The National Water Market System will strengthen Australia’s water market through efficient management of improved state and territory water registers, water transactions and availability of market information.
  • The NWMS will provide water accounting and market information and assist with the recording of water entitlements and management of transactions.

The objectives of the NWMS are to ensure:

  • up-to-date information about the water market is easily accessible and readily available, increasing market transparency and allowing for more informed water trading decisions,
  • that each jurisdiction has a high-performing water register that accurately records water rights and supports water accounting and resource management,
  • transaction times for trades and other dealings are not limited by water register processes or functions

The NWMS project has three elements:

  1. Development of the National Water Market website
  2. Development of high performance state and territory water registers
  3. Seamless data transfer between water registers (interoperability)

National Water Market website -

The first public deliverable of the National Water Market is the development of a comprehensive online water market information resource.

The primary objective of the NWMS website is to provide a national view of information necessary to support water markets in Australia.

The aim of the website is to meet customer requirements for easy access to accurate, detailed, comprehensive and timely information and greater consistency of user experience across jurisdictions.

The website currently provides:

  • water trade reports
  • entitlements on issue reports
  • historical trend reports
  • information on water trading rules and procedures
  • information on water management
  • water allocation announcements
  • information on government support and water programs
  • links to state and territory water registers.

This website will be continually improved and enhanced during 2011 with major new reporting functionality available towards the end of 2011. Over time, the reporting function of the site will be expanded to include user-driven reporting capabilities.

High performance state and territory water registers

A major element of the NWMS is the development of a Common Registry System - a standardised national water register that will replace existing water registers in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.  The existing Victorian and Queensland water registers have recently been upgraded and will be further enhanced as part of the project.

Seamless data transfer between water registers (interoperability)

Through the NWMS project, the Common Registry System and the enhanced Victorian and Queensland registers will work together so that data can be transferred automatically between each register. The automated exchange of information between state and territory water registers will facilitate efficient interstate trade, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. Initially, interoperability will be achieved through the automation of information exchange between existing registers in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. In the future, interoperability will be accomplished through implementation of the Common Registry System or other arrangements between connected states and territories.

Further information

Further information about the National Water Market System is available at:
Phone: 1800 218 478