Temporary transfers

Temporary transfers

Our customers benefit from water trading and can perform temporary transfers on our online customer service portal Sunwater Online 24 hours a day.

Sunwater sells its available allocations on the temporary trade market each year via our water broker. Sunwater’s water broker is Ruralco Water who will trade our allocations via the online platform Water Exchange. To obtain access to seasonal allocations for the 2022-23 water year, check the Water Exchange web site or contact Lincoln Parr at 0149 473 153.

Water Exchange is available for public use.  Ownership details are not listed on the platform so trading activities are confidential, however pricing and volume data is made publicly available for relevant scheme’s which reference the requirement in their interim and resource operation licences (IROL and ROL).  This publicly available data is listed on the Temporary Transfer Sale Information page.

In addition to Water Exchange, Sunwater has launched its own water trading board to promote the uptake of underutilised water across the State. The platform makes it easier for customers and non-customers who are looking to buy or sell water to easily find each other for temporary and permanent trades. That platform is available on the Sunwater website here.

Sunwater is a strong advocate of increasing water market transparency in order to promote both trading and better utilisation of water throughout the state, and we hope that moving our trading activities to a publicly available platform will assist in achieving this goal.

For any enquires relating to water trading using the Water Exchange platform please contact Ruralco Water.  For any enquiries regarding your water accounts, as always you can access your information at Sunwater Online or call customer support on 13 15 89.

For your local conditions, please refer to this table.

To apply for a transfer, please complete our temporary transfer form.

Sunwater Temporary Trading Strategies

Water year: 2023-24

Sunwater’s available allocations are now available to trade on the Water Exchange platform. Available volumes are tabulated below.

SchemePriority2023-24 Trading Volumes
Bowen Broken RiversHigh-A1639
Bundaberg (Kolan only)Medium5,000
Burdekin HaughtonHigh10,000
Julius DamHigh6,850
Lower FitzroyHigh150
Lower Mary RiverMedium2,000
Nogoa MackenzieHigh200
Macintyre BrookHigh150 (CAP only)
Pioneer RiverHigh-A12,280
Proserpine RiverHigh-A10,508
Upper BurnettHigh10

Volumes shown in the trading strategies are nominal volumes approved in October 2022 for the water year. All volumes are subject to announced allocations and if the announced allocation for a scheme is less than 100 per cent then the full nominal volume will not be available to the water trader, only the volume equal to the current announcement. If the announced allocation increases during the year the additional water will be transferred to the water trader at the time of the current announcement.

*Sunwater intends to make Burnett Water Party Limited (BWPL) medium priority allocations available for permanent sale in the FY22-23 water year, in addition to volumes available for temporary trade. More information will be provided at a later date on the Sunwater Water for Sale or Lease webpage. BWPL allocations have separate tariffs and charging arrangements from regular Upper Burnett WSS allocations. The latest BWPL tariffs can be reviewed here. Customers can register their interest with Sunwater’s water broker Lincoln Parr at 0149 473 153.

Service standard for processing temporary transfers

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has adopted the below service standard for processing times (that is, for the approval or rejection of trades).

Service Standard
Intra-state; 90% of allocation trades processed within 5 business days

Performance against this standard reported for period: 1 July 2023 to 29 February 2024

Allocation trade (temporary trades) processing time from 1 July 2023Performance against Service StandardIntended Service Standard
Intra-state trades – % of trades processed within 5 business days94% 90%
Number of Intra-state trades1470 
Volume of Intra-state trades189067.083 ML  

Temporary transfer of carryover water

Customers may temporary transfer carryover water as it is a personal product. If doing so, customers (the transferor) should note that:

  • in specific conditions, carryover can be cancelled—these conditions are outlined in the terms and conditions section of the carryover application form for relevant schemes, found on the customer forms page.
  • quarterly water loss factors may be applied and are also outlined in the carryover application form
  • if carryover is cancelled or quarterly loss factors are applied, the transferor’s water account may go into a negative balance which may need to be reported to the regulator. This breach will need to be remedied through the purchase of temporary transfer water to bring the account out of a negative balance.

Customers must be aware of the multiple factors and risks associated with temporary transferring carryover water. Examples have been developed to demonstrate the risks of transferring carryover and provide visual representation of what a customer account may look like if carryover is cancelled in a carryover-eligible water supply scheme.

As this is a complex water accounting calculation, we strongly encourage customers considering a transfer of water inclusive of carryover contact customer support on 13 15 89 Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm to discuss their options.

Barker Barambah

Water Supply Scheme


Water Supply Scheme

Burdekin Haughton

Water Supply Scheme

Callide Valley

Water Supply Scheme

Dawson Valley

Water Supply Scheme

Mareeba Dimbulah

Water Supply Scheme


Water Supply Scheme

Upper Burnett

Water Supply Scheme


For assistance with purchasing or selling water on a temporary basis (via temporary transfer) or a permanent basis (via property transfer), visit the Purchase/transfer page.

More information

Sunwater Customer Support
Phone: 13 15 89
Email: customersupport@sunwater.com.au