Economic value of water
We recently commissioned a second report on the value of water entitlements in NSW. It builds on our first Value of Water Report in 2021-22. The report shows that water entitlements have increased in value. They were worth over $29 billion two years ago. In 2023, they are estimated to be worth $41 billion. This is a 17 per cent increase in two years.
The new report also sought to put a dollar value on access to town water and stock and domestic supplies as well.
We now have the most comprehensive understanding of the value of water entitlement and the economic benefits of its usage.
This knowledge helps us to better understand the circumstances and motivations of water users. It helps us direct our staff and efforts into areas where competition for water is greatest.
- Increasing demand from horticulture and viticulture, like grapes, and from cotton and high-value crops, like blueberries, drives the rising value of water licences.
- Tradeable water entitlements (for irrigation and environment) are worth $25-$34 billion.
- Town water entitlements are worth $5.8 billion and underpin the NSW economy. Nearly 70 per cent is located along the coast.
- Domestic and stock entitlements are worth $0.8 billion and 80 per cent is in the southern inland zone.
- The most valuable water assets in NSW are in the Southern Inland zone and the Murray and Murrumbidgee regions, worth more than $23 billion. This is an increase of 21 per cent on $19 billion estimated in 2021.
- Water entitlements support agricultural production value of $3.7 billion a year. This amount doesn't include the economic impacts of water used in industries like mining.
- Water access leads to total direct and flow-on benefits of about $5.5 billion for regional economies. These benefits come from irrigated agricultural production
Download the 2023 water value report