Change access licence
Application form: Changing a water access licence
- Go to Water Applications Online
- Or download an application form (DOC 130 KB)
- Guide to the application to change a water access licence (PDF 55 KB)
There are three change options dealt with below:
- Changing a nominated work (including interstate tagging)
- Changing a water management zone
- Changing a category (currently embargoed)
Details on the processes for this dealing are provided in the section on The dealings process and in the guide provided with the application form.
Changing a nominated work – where a water access licence can be used (s.71W Water Management Act 2000)
This dealing covers:
- Change of nominated work with the water access licence water source
- Nominating a work in another water source (intra-state tagging)
- Interstate tagging – nominating an interstate tagging zone on your water access licence.
A water access licence specifies the works (eg a pump or bore) used to extract water and, in some cases, a zone within the water sharing plan. To move the extraction point for a licence you hold or one you have recently purchased to another location or to redistribute a licence among your properties, you will need to change the works and possibly the zone nominated on the licence.
If this is associated with the sale of a water licence, once the 'change location' dealing has been approved by the NSW Office of Water, the change can be registered at the same time as the holder transfer.
There are several common situations for changing the location where a water access licence can be used:
- you want to purchase or term transfer a water access licence and move it to your property; and
- you own more than one property in a zone (or water source if there are no zones) and wish to extract water under the one water access licence at two or more locations.
To allow a licence to be used at a new or another location, a change to the nominated water supply works or the zone specified on the licence may also be required.
If you are thinking of buying or term transferring a water access licence and moving it to another location, you may prefer to request that the vendor obtain consent for the move from the NSW Office of Water before finalising the contract. If consent is given, you can register both the transfer of holder or term transfer and the change of location at the same time.
Do I need consent from other people?
As part of the application to change the water access licence, in this case you need to obtain the written consent of:
- all holders of the licence (if held by more than one person); as well as,
- the holders of the water supply work approvals that are being added to the licence, if the licence holder is not the approval holder.
When registering the change at Land and Property Information, the consent of the holders of all registered security interests in the licence (mortgages and company charges held by a bank or other lending institution) will also be required.
Changing a water management zone – where a water access licence can be used (s.71S Water Management Act 2000)
Water sharing plans may subdivide water sources into water management zones to enable an appropriate level of management of trading and extraction rules. Where zones apply, the water access licence extraction component will specify which zone the water access licence is associated with. Typically, the water access licence can only nominate works within that zone.
Depending on the rules, this dealing can be used to change the zone specified in the licence from which water can be taken under the licence. A change of zone would usually be accompanied with a change of nominated work – using the same application form.
Changing a category – conversion of access licences to a new category (s.71O Water Management Act 2000)
On the application of the holder of a water access licence, the Minister may consent to the cancellation of a licence and the grant of a new licence of a different category or subcategory. This does not apply to a local water utility access licence or to a supplementary water access licence.
The resulting access licence may only be granted in relation to the same water source or the same water management area as the cancelled water access licence. Conversion factors may apply and may require amendment of the share component of the licence.
Reasons for requiring a change in the category of a water access licence include changing from general security to high security licence category on a regulated river as a result of moving from growing annual crops to permanent plantings (subject to water sharing plan rules and embargos).
If an application for a change in the category of a water access licence is granted, the Minister will cancel the existing access licence and issue a new access licence with the new category, subject to:
- the application of a conversion factor established by the Minister and published in an Order made under section 71Z of the Act that protects environmental water, domestic and stock rights, native title rights and the reliability of supply to all other access licences in this water source (see Note 1 below); and
- the volume of water in the existing access licence water allocation account being equal to the maximum sum of available water determinations permitted (100 per cent).
Note 1: Water access licences for only three water sources have been gazetted under the above provisions (the Hunter, Murray and Murrumbidgee water sources) as eligible for the conversion. However, the gazettal notice for conversion of water access licences in these water sources was revoked by an order published in the NSW Government Gazette 4 July 2008.