Water rights transfers of a temporary or permanent nature will only be permitted where both the original and transferred water use are from the same water resource. GCS has the required expertise to undertake the water rights transfer/trading procedure from the initial stages to completion.

The process involves the following:

  • Identification of possible existing water rights;
  • Negotiations with the relevant water users;
  • Extensive consultation with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS);
  • Compilation of the required contractual agreements (the purchase agreement) and other legal documentation;
  • Completion of the required DWS License application forms;
  • Compilation of the Water Use License Application (WULA); and
  • Follow up and follow through of the application at the DWS Regional and Head Office.A typical WULA Motivational Report would contain the required technical detail to the satisfaction of DWS. This includes:
    • The assessment of impacts and management measures associated with the transfer/trading of the water rights;
    • Motivation for the proposed water use and discussion of alternatives; and
    • Section 27 Motivation (this is related to socio-economic aspects, redressing of past racial and gender discrimination,
      upliftment of communities, etc.).

    GCS has the necessary expertise, staff and equipment to undertake the required investigations and reporting for various
    sectors and for numerous situations.

    Section 25 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No 36 of 1998) (NWA) provides for two different circumstances in which
    water use authorisations may be transferred/ traded namely:

    • A temporary transfer of water authorised for irrigation, either on the same property for a different use (for example.
      industrial or mining) or to another property for the same or a similar use; and
    • A permanent transfer may be affected by one user offering to surrender all or part of an allocation to facilitate a
      water use license application by another user. The transfer becomes effective when the new license is granted (Section
      25(2) of the Act).