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Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to sell water in the Gwydir

Media release

20 January 2014

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder today announced up to 10 gigalitres of water allocation will be available for sale in the Gwydir valley. This is the first time the Water Holder has traded environmental water since its inception in 2008.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is selling a small portion of its annual allocations; it is not selling permanent water entitlements.

The sale will be via an open tender process that will commence 10am Tuesday 21 January 2014. Tenders must be submitted by 3 pm Thursday 23 January 2014 (AEDT).

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said that environmental conditions had guided his decision to sell in the Gwydir.

“Local floodplains require a drying phase after a number of consecutive wet years. This presents the opportunity to sell a small portion of the Commonwealth’s water allocation,” Mr Papps said.

“By all accounts, conditions for a sale of temporary water allocations in the Gwydir are favourable, with strong demand for water and high prices paid for other recent sales.

“My decision to enter the market corresponds with the introduction of robust governance arrangements including a trade framework, operating rules, procedures and protocols. These arrangements provide the necessary reassurance that the Commonwealth will buy and sell water allocations or entitlements in a responsible, fair, equitable, transparent and accountable manner,” he said.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder will use the proceeds of the sale to purchase water at another time, within either the Gwydir or elsewhere in the Murray-Darling Basin, which will provide greater environmental benefit.

Mr Papps concluded that his decision-making about use of the Commonwealth environmental water portfolio - through water delivery, carryover, and in this instance trade – aimed to use water to its best effect in the interests of maximising environmental outcomes.

For further information see or follow the Commonwealth Water Holder on Twitter @theCEWH or