Water Entitlements and Trading Project Phase 2


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.


The Water Entitlements and Trading (WET) project is a joint initiative of the Australian Department of the Environment (the Department), and Chinese Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), arising from a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding.

WET Phase 2 was conducted between March 2007 and March 2008 by a team of Australian and Chinese water experts, building on the work of WET Phase 1.

It made policy recommendations on a number of key issues related to the implementation of the WET framework, including:

  • Water resources allocation planning
  • Environmental flow definition and management, including a guideline for determining environmental flow requirements
  • Allocation and management of water rights in irrigation districts
  • Water abstraction permit specification and registration
  • Urban water management

WET Phase 2 also involved work on the technical requirements for a WET system, including:

  • Water resources management modelling
  • Water accounting

In addition, two pilot studies were completed to both test and demonstrate the WET framework:

  • Pilot study on water resources allocation planning and environmental flows undertaken in the Jiao River in Zhejiang province. As part of this study, a detailed environmental assessment for the Jiao River was completed and environmental flow recommendations developed. A hydrological model was built for the river and used to demonstrate how an abstraction cap could be set and operational rules defined to achieve the desired environmental flows.
  • Pilot study on allocation and management of water rights within large irrigation districts, undertaken in Hangjin Irrigation District on the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia. A water allocation model, as well as water scheduling and water certificate systems, was developed to define rights of different villages to water within the district.

Phase 2 Final Report for download

The WET Phase 2 Final Report is available in English in the following sections:

The WET Phase 2 Final Report is also available in Chinese and English as an entire document:

More information

For further information please contact the Department , or the Australian Water Entitlements and Trading Project team leader at robert_a_speed@yahoo.com.au.