This page explains how legislation, plans and provisions are applied for surface, ground and environmental water. It also lists the organisations responsible for water management in this region.
The South East Queensland Water Strategy is the blueprint for water security in the South East Queensland (SEQ) region.
From 1 July 2008 to the present the water industry in the SEQ region underwent significant reform. Over this period, the number of water management and distribution entities was reduced from 21 to six, and the role of the SEQ Water Grid Manager was created.
No major structural changes occurred in the water sector in this region during 2009–10. Changes that occurred immediately after 2009–10 are reported in the Significant Water Events section of the account.
|National Water Account 2010||Equivalent Queensland terminology|
|Water access entitlement||
|Water allocation||Announced allocation|
|Entitlement trade||Allocation trade|
|Allocation trade||Seasonal water assignments|
The Water Act 2000 (Qld) provides the authority for the administration of basic water rights and water entitlements (interim allocations, water licences and water allocations) in Queensland. This is done through the preparation of water resource plans (WRPs), which aim to ensure water is managed equitably for both human and environmental needs. Under section 38 of the Water Act 2000 (Qld), the relevant Minister may prepare a WRP for any part of Queensland to advance the sustainable management of water. WRPs may be prepared for, but are not limited to, the purposes listed under section 38(3) of the Water Act 2000 (Qld).
There are WRPs in place to manage water across the entire South East Queensland (SEQ) region.
The Water Act 2000 (Qld) also, among other things, provides the authority to:
The Water Act 2000 (Qld) vests all rights to the use, flow and control of water in the State of Queensland.
A number of water management instruments, including water resource plans, are used in the South East Queensland (SEQ) region. These are described in Table A2.
The SEQ region contains three water management areas: Gold Coast, Logan Basin and Moreton. The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) finalised water resource plans and resource operation plans for each of these three areas.
Within each water resource plan (WRP) area, there is a number of water supply schemes (WSS) made up of connected water supply infrastructure.
The DERM monitors the implementation of WRPs throughout the SEQ region. A resource operation plan (ROP) is used to implement a WRP in specified areas. A resource operation licence (ROL) (or interim resource operation licence (IROL)) provides a licence under which water supply infrastructure can be operated.
Seqwater is the ROL (or interim resource operation licence) holder for all water supply schemes in the South East Queensland region, with the exception of the Cressbrook Creek WSS which is held by Toowoomba Regional Council. Further information on ROLs can be found at the Department of Environment and Resource Management, Resource operations licences website.
Areas not covered by the WSSs are managed as Queensland unsupplemented water rights (which, for national consistency, in the National Water Account 2010 are referred to as ‘unregulated water rights’) under the WRPs and ROPs.
Table A2. Water management plans in the South East Queensland region during 2009-10
Water Resource Plan (WRP)
Resource Operation Plan (ROP)
Water Supply Scheme (WSS) and Resource Operation Licence (ROL)/ Iterim Resource Operation Licence (IROL)
Nerang WSS ROL (Seqwater)
Logan River WSS ROL (Seqwater)
Central Brisbane River WSS ROL (Seqwater)
Stanley River WSS ROL (Seqwater)
Cressbrook Creek WSS ROL (Toowoomba Regional Council)
Pine Valley WSS ROL (Seqwater)
Central Lockyer WSS IROL (Seqwater)¹
Lower Lockyer WSS IROL (Seqwater)¹
Warrill Valley WSS IROL (Seqwater)¹
Figure A1. Map of surface water management areas in the SEQ regionUnallocated water (water in the consumptive pool not allocated to licence holders or needed for losses) may be held as a general, strategic or town water supply reserve. Unallocated water in a WRP area, if any, is identified in the WRP and a process for dealing with unallocated water is included in the ROP.
All management plans that relate to groundwater are administered by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). No groundwater management areas (GMAs) exist within the Gold Coast or Logan Basin WRP areas.
The following GMAs exist within the South East Queensland (SEQ) region:
Figure A2. Map of alluvial aquifers in the South East Queensland region
The Water Act 2000 (Qld) covers water for the environment. Water resource plans (WRPs) are produced in accordance with the Water Act 2000 (Qld) and must establish environmental flow objectives, ecological outcomes and consider environmental values listed in the Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009.
The environmental flow objectives in a water resource plan area are rules-based, with the aim to retain various temporal flow characteristics at different nodes along rivers. Environmental top-up releases are required from storages to ensure that environmental flow objectives are met. The volume required for release will vary depending upon the environmental flow objectives and flow conditions. Various performance indicators are used for assessing environmental flow objectives as described in the Environmental notes.
|Organisation||Role||Major storages operated within region|
|Department of Environment and Resource Management||
|SEQ Water Grid Manager||
||Lake Atkinson (Atkinson Dam)|
|Lake Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam)|
|Lake Manchester (Cabbage Tree Creek Dam)|
|Gold Creek Reservoir|
|Tingalpa (Leslie Harrison Dam)|
|Mount Crosby Weir|
|Lake Samsonvale (North Pine Dam)|
|Advancetown Lake (Hinze Dam)|
|Little Nerang Dam|
|Cedar Grove Weir|
|Bromelton off-stream storage|
|Tarong Energy||power generator||Splityard Creek Dam|
|Gold Coast City Council||urban utility: retail|
|Logan City Council||urban utility: retail|
|Redland City Council||urban utility: retail|
|Scenic Rim Regional Council||urban utility: retail|
|Brisbane City Council||urban utility: retail|
|Ipswich City Council||urban utility: retail|
|Moreton Bay Regional Council||urban utility: retail|
|Lockyer Valley Regional Council||urban utility: retail|
|Somerset Regional Council||urban utility: retail|
|Toowoomba Regional Council||
Other Councils, of which part of their administrative area lies within the SEQ region, include: