Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

This water year has been one of record pricing for many entitlements in the Southern Connected System, the most active and connected water market in Australia. It encompasses the River Murray in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales as well as Murrumbidgee, and northern Victorian rivers of Goulburn, Loddon and Campaspe.

Water prices peaked during December and January as an increase in demand coincided with a dry period. The top price achieved for Victorian and South Australian entitlement in the 2015/16 water year was approximately one third higher than those achieved at the previous peak during the Commonwealth buy-back process in the 2008/09 financial year. New South Wales water entitlements achieved similar or slightly lower levels than those achieved during the peak of the millennial drought in 2007/08. Pricing for Victorian and South Australian entitlements in the 2015/16 year have softened towards the end of the season, however are still priced above levels reached during 2008/09.

Alister Walsh, CEO of Australia’s leading water exchange, Waterfind, stated that he has seen strong demand across the permanent market for many in the Southern Connected System as irrigators prepare for a drier period, “Allocation forecasts for previous seasons have been more generous than those for the start of the 2016/17 season. This drier outlook and lack of uncertainty around water availability has seen a number of irrigators make strategic purchases in preparation for the upcoming season.”.

There has also been a shift in the way that irrigators are holding onto and securing permanent water. It is no longer the case that irrigators hold titles solely in their area; more and more irrigators are interested in spreading their holdings over a number of entitlements to mitigate risk and increase liquidity. For example, a Victorian irrigator may hold entitlements in New South Wales and South Australian but only deploy the water on their property in Victoria. Alternatively, by holding water in various regions, their market exposure increases significantly should they wish to temporarily trade unused water.

Waterfind continue to see strong results in the market place for buyers and sellers of water. Experience tells us that those who take strategic steps in June often have greater certainty over the year, which provides greater control and opportunity. Waterfind have developed a non-binding Expression of Interest to support those looking to trade water, which was released 30 May. Waterfind have already seen strong uptake from entitlement holders looking to get ahead of the market before the 2016/17 water season.

Waterfind understands the importance of relevant and accurate market information to support informed decision making. The market-leading, independent water data that Waterfind provide for free, is the most comprehensive water-related information available. To find out the value our your water or for more information on the Waterfind Expression of Interest program, visit: or Freecall 1800 890 285.

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Waterfind is a pioneer in the water market industry. The company has a strong focus on innovation and quality systems, which underpin their highly personalized service offering.

Established in 2003, Waterfind developed a quality endorsed water market system that expanded from a local focus on water supply and demand, to a national market that covers key agricultural industries and investors. At present, Waterfind facilitates the buying and selling of both permanent and temporary water across the major irrigation regions of NSW, QLD, SA and VIC.

Michelle Filsell
P: 1800 890 285


Water markets, irrigation, farming, waterways, in-flow, water management, water storage, Murray Darling Basin, Murray Irrigation



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