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Proposed new method to calculate value of illegal water take

Submit your feedback on the proposed new method to calculate the value of illegally taken water below.

The beautiful Tweed River.
Proposed new method to calculate the value of illegally taken water

Submit your feedback on the proposed new method to calculate the value of illegally taken water below.

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Proposed new method to calculate the value of illegally taken water

A new method for valuing water has been developed based on sound economic principles. It better reflects the value received through illegal water take.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) can issue charges under section 60G of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act) for illegal water take. Charges can be up to 5 times the value of the water taken illegally. The method for calculating the value of water is set out in clause 20 of the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018.

NRAR’s experience is that the current method produces inconsistent results across water sources and does not adequately reflect the value of illegally taken water. The current method is based on trade prices, but it does not adequately account for circumstances where there are limited trades. This limits NRAR’s ability to impose charges under section 60G that deter illegal water take.

A charge under section 60G of the Act offers a graduated and proportionate enforcement response between:

  • issuing a penalty notice (maximum of $750 for individuals and $1500 for corporations)
  • prosecution, which carries significant maximum penalties and a criminal conviction (maximum of $1.1 million and 2-year imprisonment for individuals, and $5.5 million for corporations).
Current method: Water source - Average trade dollar  for month water take. If data not available, move to, Water source - Average trade dollar for year water taken. If data not available, move to Water source - Published water entitlement charge.  Proposed Method: Water source greater than 20 trade, average dollar for year. If data not available, WSP greater than  20 trades, average dollar for year.  If data not available, region greater than 20 trades, average $ for year. If data not available, Region, gross margin value.
Current and proposed method to calculate the value of illegal water take

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Consultation on the proposed new method to calculate the value of water taken illegally is now open.

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