“Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over” — Mark Twain.
The allocation of water rights in Australia has recently been the subject of media attention, particularly surrounding the Murray-Darling Basin, where an over allocation of water rights in the second half of the 20th century has led to a water shortage. Since water rights are regulated by the states, the systems are far from unified. There are four state registries, seven regulators, around 300 water products, and over 15,000 business rules that government water trades. Each register also attracts a fee to gain access and perform searches.