Groundwater trading in Hunter and Gloucester basins
In transitioning to a new water sharing plan across the Hunter and Gloucester basins, DPI Water has put in place trading arrangements for commercial operations accessing groundwater.
This enables businesses within these areas to obtain water supplies via a market based process and allows for transfers of water allocations from existing licences.
This move to market-based arrangements brings the Hunter and Gloucester region into line with other parts of the State.
In developing a new water sharing plan, it has become clear that the volume of groundwater entitlement issued in the Hunter and Gloucester valleys has reached a sustainable limit and is proposed to be capped
The introduction of this embargo on applications for licences means that the volume of water entitlement will be capped at the current sustainable level.
Businesses will be able to obtain water via the market during the operation of this embargo.
This interim measure ensures the ongoing sustainability of water resources whilst providing business confidence to existing water users.
A number of exemptions apply and the new arrangements do not impact on existing water licences or new applications for domestic and stock bores, town water supplies and replacement works.
A draft water sharing plan, covering the fractured and porous rock aquifers across these areas, is currently on public exhibition for comment and will inform appropriate future management of licences.