NSW | What is a Water Access Licence?

A new register of water access licences, called the WAL Register began on 1 July 2004 under the Water Management Act 2000. Water Access Licences in NSW define the access rights that the holder has to obtain water from a water course. The water access licences are handled the same way in many respects as the land titles. Searches by Reference and by Name as well as History Searches and Dealings are available and are provided via the one standard interface for your convenience. The WAL Register is designed to provide a record of every water access licence in New South Wales. It is maintained by the Department of Lands on behalf of the Minister administering the Water Management Act 2000.The WAL Register has a separate record for each water access licence issued (called hereafter a WAL folio). Each WAL folio has a unique number for identification purposes, the first being "WAL1". The WAL folio shows water access licence details such as: share component (volume); extraction component; water source; expiry date and conditions. The WAL folio also shows: current ownership details; mortgages, charges and related information and DIPNR reference number. A duplicate of the WAL folio (called hereafter the WAL certificate) is issued to the licence holder, or any other party entitled to hold the WAL certificate,for example,. the mortgagee. The WAL certificate is required when you register certain transactions such as a transfer, mortgage or charge. The information shown on the WAL Register is not guaranteed like the Torrens Title Register for land held under the Real Property Act 1900. You must search all of the transactions registered on the WAL folio to establish if they are legal and form an unbroken "chain of title", similar to transactions affecting Old System land registered in the General Register of Deeds. The historical title search for the WAL folio provides the list of transactions. Registration of transactions require lodgement of WAL dealings, together with the relevant WAL Certificate(s) and where applicable, a Notice of Sale, at Lands’ Sydney office. On lodgement, WAL dealings will be given a unique number by Lands and the transaction recorded on the WAL Register. Following registration, a new edition of the WAL certificate will be issued to the entitled party.

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