4610.0.55.003 - Water Access Entitlements, Allocations and Trading, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/10/2006  First Issue
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  • Explanatory Notes

Water access entitlements, allocations and trading data
Related publications


1. This publication has been prepared as part of the ABS environmental accounting program, and in particular as a component of the Water Account, Australia (cat. No. 4610.0). At the core of the ABS Water Accounts are the physical supply and use tables (collectively referred to as flow tables). In the past, they have also contained information on water stocks and emerging issues, such as water trading.


Scope and Coverage

2. All available quantitative volumetric data (megalitres) on water access entitlements, allocations and trading within Australia for the financial year 2004-05 are in scope. Price data for water trading were also compiled where data were available.

3. Non-volumetric water access entitlements are excluded. However, they are noted in the text and in footnotes to tables where they have been identified.

Data sources

4. State and Territory agencies were asked to provide data on water access entitlements, allocations and trading to the ABS from their administrative systems.

5. Data were sought from the agencies responsible for administering water access entitlements, allocations and trading in each State and Territory. The main data providers were:

  • Department of Natural Resources, New South Wales
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria
  • Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland
  • Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, South Australia
  • Department of Water, Western Australia
  • Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tasmania
  • Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Northern Territory
  • Environment ACT, Australian Capital Territory

6. Additional data was obtained from the following sources:
  • Annual Water Statistics, 2004-05 (Queensland)
  • First Mildura Irrigation Trust Annual Report, 2004-05
  • Goulburn Murray Water Annual Report, 2004-05
  • Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Annual Report, 2004-05
  • Lower Murray Water Annual Report, 2004-05
  • Southern Rural Water Annual Report, 2004-05
  • State Water Report, 2004-05, A Statement of Victorian Water Resources
  • SunWater Annual Report, 2004-05

Collation procedure

7. The data collated by the ABS on water access entitlements, allocations and trading from State and Territory agencies and other publicly available sources were aggregated and presented in a consistent tabular format. The tabulated data and explanatory text were then returned to their respective agencies for checking. Where necessary, the ABS sought clarification from data providers on aspects of the data provided.

Data quality and reliability

8. The data contained in this publication originate from a range of sources, as detailed above, and have a variable degree of consistency and reliability.

9. This is the first time that national data on water access entitlements, allocations and trading have been collated. The systems for collating, storing and accessing data for national reporting, and in particular to meet the requirements of the NWI, are at various stages of development in the States and Territories, while the standards needed to support regular national reporting are yet to be fully developed and implemented. As such, comparisons between the States and Territories should be made with caution. The continuing development of the systems and standards needed to support national reporting should see the situation improve. If data quality and availability are improved, the ABS may be able to revise the 2004-05 data to make them more comparable between the States and Territories and over time.

10. Some State and Territory agencies provided commentary or qualifications to the data and reports supplied:

11. The Victorian State Water Report 2004-05 states:
“This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.”

12. Disclaimer received from Western Australia states:
“No compensation is payable in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by the Commission in the performance or purported performance of any duty, or the exercise or purported exercise of any power, in relation to this register, including its accuracy and the notification of people with a registered interest.”

13. For interstate and inter-regional water trades, where data differed between the origin (seller) and destination (buyer), the data provided by the destination (buyer) have been presented.


14. The ABS has produced a range of water related publications.
  • Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0)
  • Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0)
  • Characteristics of Australia’s Irrigated Farms 2000-01 to 2003-04 (cat. no. 4623.0)
  • A Methodology for Estimating Regional Agricultural Water Use (cat. no. 4616.0.55.001)


15. ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available.