Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme

Access by any person to this web site is solely on the basis of your acceptance of the Terms of Use. Please read them.

The Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme is a licensing scheme for discharges of saline water in the Hunter River catchment above Singleton, from mines and power stations.

The objective of the scheme is to manage saline water discharges so as to minimise impacts on irrigation, other water uses, and on the aquatic ecosystems of the Hunter River catchment.

It aims to achieve this objective at least overall cost to the community, in an equitable and flexible manner; and in a way that provides ongoing financial incentives to further reduce pollution. Underpinning the scheme is a comprehensive system of real-time monitoring of discharges and river conditions. A 'River Register' is operated by the Department of Natural Resources and funded by scheme participants, based on the monitoring data (see links).

This site provides the credit exchange and register facility for the scheme members as well as general access to the credit register and other information on the trading scheme.


Scheme Details


Flows in the Hunter River are notionally divided into blocks. A block is a body of water that flows down the Hunter River and which is predicted to pass through the lower sector reference point (gauging station at Singleton) in a 24-hour period.

Each block is classified in relation to each sector it passes through as:

  • low flow - no discharges permitted
  • high flow – discharges permitted using tradeable credits
  • flood flows – no volume discharge limit unless stipulated in a licence.

During high flows, each participant is entitled to discharge a share of the total allowable discharge on each block according to the number of salt credits that they hold. Credits may be traded between participants to ensure that saline water is being managed in the most cost-effective way.

There are 1000 credits, each entitling the holder to discharge 1/1000 of each high flow day’s total allowable discharge. The credits may be traded using this online facility so that those holders who do not need to discharge can sell their entitlement to others with the greatest need in each high flow.

Through trading, the overall costs of saline water management are minimised while compliance with scheme rules guarantees that water quality goals are never compromised by discharges.

Access by any person to this web site is solely on the basis of your acceptance of the Terms of Use. Please read them. You will note that, amongst other things, while the EPA and the State provide information on this site in good faith, they accept no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information whether provided by them or any external site linked to this site.
On-line Credit Exchange Facility Members must comply with the On-line Credit Exchange Facility Terms and Conditions.