How can blockchain improve Australia’s water trading system? 

Australia pioneered water trading in the early 1900s becoming a world leader in water sharing between valleys. However, this water market is complex and presents challenges that require greater transparency and accountability for all market players. 

To address these challenges, we collaborated with IBM on a discussion paper that offers potential solutions to specific recommendations made by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) and the Department of Climate Change, Energy the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

We envision a blockchain-enabled water trading platform to enhance transparency, integrity and efficiency for all users including farmers, irrigators, towns, state departments and government. 

This innovative approach aims to enable trust in water trading, considering the Murray-Darling Basin as a case study. 

The blockchain platform proposed in the paper focuses on:

  • Practical improvements that align with ACCC and DCCEEW recommendations, without the need for new policy creation.
  • Improved market architecture, trading processes, and information transparency.

Digital technologies, particularly a blockchain-enabled water trading platform, can significantly enhance efficiency in the Australian water markets, ensuring more robust supply management even amid climate change’s challenging forecasts.

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Enabling trust in water trading