The NSW Department of Primary Industries and Water is reviewing current water market fundamentals in NSW. Water markets are valuable tools in managing extreme variability, including minimising the impacts of drought. However, water markets that are formed, cannot remain stagnant in design, rather must adapt to improve with changing circumstance. Updating and improving water markets can drive productivity of industry and efficiency of water use within NSW.
Reduced water availability for irrigation has reinforced the importance of water markets. The Report found that water trading has grown after reforms made by the NSW Government such as the introduction of Water Sharing Plans. Surface Water trading is most active in the Northern Murray Darling Basin, these are the Gwydir, Lachlan and Macquarie water sources. Trade of general security entitlement trade is greater than high security trades in the Southern Basin with volumes traded in the Lower Darling are consistently less than in the Murray and Murrumbidgee. The Report reflects on the efficiencies and deficiencies of the current Water Market in NSW and will assist in informing policy moving forward. It can be read in full here.
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