Water licence prices treble in SA

Costing more than land: Water brokers say that in many cases, the value of a water licence owned by someone along the river was worth far more than their land. While brokers say the price surges are linked to market forces, there is concern private licence holders – typically irrigation companies or family businesses – are exploiting drought conditions for personal gain.

"Blatant profiteering": Independent MP Bob Such, who has been touring regional SA and Victoria on water-related issues, said the latest trading amounted to “blatant profiteering” that must be addressed. The system was a “dog’s breakfast”, he said.

Huge price increase: Figures provided by Waterfind – a service used by irrigators across the country to buy, sell and lease their water – show the average price for permanent River Murray irrigation licence water has increased from $1335/ML in July to $1374/ML in August, $1395/ML in September, $1682/ML in October and $2023 in November.

Volume up too: The amount of water traded also has significantly increased, from a total of just 174.34ML in July to 1358ML this month.

The Advertiser, 30/11/2006, p. 11

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