Water trading

Water trading allows:

  • current water users to buy and sell water to suit their business
  • new businesses to buy water.

In Queensland, water can be traded either permanently or temporarily on a seasonal basis (called a ‘seasonal assignment’). Water trading in the Gulf can be done with:

  • water licences that are attached to a parcel of land (also called a ‘relocatable water licence’)
  • water allocations that are not attached to land.

Understand more about water entitlements in the Gulf.

Where trading is allowed

There are currently two water management areas within the water plan area where water trading is allowed–the Gilbert River and Flinders River water management areas.

Map of water trading areas in Gulf water plan area which are the Flinders and Gilbert catchments © Queensland Government

Current use and trades are low

Most water users in the Gulf are not currently using their full water entitlements (see graphs in sidebar). Despite this, water trading in the Gulf is low.

Over the last five years, there were four permanent water licence trades in the Flinders and one seasonal assignment in the Gilbert catchment.

No water allocations have been traded (permanently or temporarily) in the water plan area.

If we change or add new trading rules, we will need to assess whether the current gauging station network is sufficient to monitor water flows.

What do you think?

  • Why are there so few water trades in this market?
  • What would improve how this market works?
  • What would make it easier for you to trade?
  • What barriers have stopped you from trading water in the Flinders or Gilbert catchments? For example, you may have come across some of these issues:
    • You didn’t know water trading was allowed.
    • It is difficult to find a seller or a buyer.
    • The trading rules are too restrictive.

Tell us in your submission.

Last updated: 15 Mar 2024