Supplementary water (subcategory “storage”) access licences
A supplementary water (subcategory "storage") access licence is a licence that may be granted for the take of water from ‘fully buried’ or ‘partially buried’ porous rock groundwater sources. No licences of this type have been granted to date.
These licences may only be available through a controlled allocation order made under section 65 of the Water Management Act 2000. The Minister has the discretion to decide upon a controlled allocation order declaring the right to apply for a supplementary water (subcategory “storage”) access licence. The order will not be made until the long-term average annual extraction limit for the groundwater source has been reached and it is deemed that there is insufficient opportunity to purchase water under an access license dealing.
The total amount of water that may be made available under supplementary water (subcategory "storage") access licences will not exceed 0.002% of the total groundwater storage in that the relevant groundwater source. The Minister will determine the total groundwater storage volume and the portion of it to be made available in any controlled allocation order.
Unlike all other types of water access licences, the volume of water able to be extracted under a supplementary water (subcategory “storage”) access licence will be finite (expressed in megalitres) and will progressively reduce as extraction occurs. For example, if the share component of a supplementary water (subcategory “storage”) access licence is 100 ML then the total amount that can be extracted under the licence, regardless of the time period over which extraction occurs, will be 100 ML.
A supplementary water (subcategory "storage") access licence is a specific purpose access licence. This means that:
- most types of trades will not be permitted,
- once the purpose for which the licence was granted no longer exists, the licence will be cancelled; and
- once the total volume allowed to be taken under the licence reaches an amount equal to the licence’s share component, the licence will be cancelled.
Any application for a water supply work proposing to take water through a supplementary water (subcategory "storage") access licence will be assessed to ensure that no more than minimal harm will occur to any water source of dependent ecosystem as a consequence of groundwater being taken from storage. If approved it will be subject to depth requirements in order to protect existing licence holder access.