Water price index gives snapshot of entitlements’ value in southern Murray-Darling Basin

Visual representation: The Aither Southern Murray-Darling Basin Entitlement Index. Image: Aither.
Visual representation: The Aither Southern Murray-Darling Basin Entitlement Index. Image: Aither.

Water prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin are at an all-time high, according to a new index which aims to cover all major entitlement classes.

Like the ASX 200, said Chris Olszak, director of the company which developed the index, the Southern Murray-Darling Basin Entitlement Index would give a regular snapshot of how water entitlement holders' investment was performing.

"Irrigators, investors, banks and other owners of large water portfolios can use the index to benchmark the capital growth performance of their portfolios over time," he said.

Aither senior consultant Daniel Baker said dry conditions and high demand, including from the nut industry, had caused the index to double in value since 2013.

"We've seen entitlements maintain and increase their value this year despite the return to wet conditions and the very low allocation or spot prices for water in the market," he said.

"This shows that entitlement holders clearly have the long game in mind."

The index currently shows growth in water entitlement value since July 2008.

It will be updated monthly.