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National Water Account 2017

Fitzroy: Water rights

  • Water licences are granted under the Water Act 2000 to take water and/or interfere with water.
  • Water licences are administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.


For further information about the region's water rights scroll down this page or click on the links below:


Operating rules and constraints

  • Abstraction of water is controlled by the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME) through allocation planning and water licensing arrangements. Water can only be abstracted and/or interfered with from designated areas within the region when a water authorisation (water allocation, license or permit) is issued.
  • Resource operations licences (ROLs) are required for operation of water supply scheme (WSS) infrastructure and distribution of water to water allocation holders. Licence holders must comply with the ROL for day-to-day operational, water sharing and seasonal water assignment rules.
  • Surface water licences are also issued for unsupplemented water, including water licences to take, licences to interfere and licences to divert.
  • Landowners in the Fitzroy Basin must notify DNRME of existing overland flow works as soon as possible and obtain a development permit for new works under the Water Act 2000.
  • Water sharing rules are in place for the Don River and Dee River groundwater sub-area, surface water within the Don and Dee Rivers and Alma Creek Water Management Area, and the Prospect Creek and Upper Callide groundwater sub-areas.


Water entitlements and other statutory water rights

  • Under the Water Act 2000, water can be abstracted generally either under a statutory authorisation without an entitlement for certain purposes only, e.g. stock and domestic use; or under various types of licences and authorities referred to as water entitlements.
  • Supplemented and unsupplemented water entitlements are prioritised, managed, and administered separately.
  • Artesian and sub-artesian groundwater entitlements also have separate prioritisation, management, and administration arrangements.


Water allocations

  • Annual water allocations are provided for all water users within water supply schemes. Allocation percentages are announced by ROL holders on the first day of the water year and apply to regulated entitlement holders only. Additional announcements can be made during the year, but the allocation percentage cannot exceed 100% of the allocation volume, or be reduced below the initial allocation percentage.
  • Urban licence holders of supplemented entitlements generally have 'high priority' allocations, typically set at 100% of their allocated volume; while other regulated licence holders with 'medium priority' allocations are subject to announced allocation percentages.
  • In the Fitzroy region, the water year for licence holders is generally 1 July to 30 June in the following year except Dawson Valley water supply scheme and Dawson valley water management area where the water year is from 1 October to 30 September in the following year (Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011).
  • Unsupplemented water is managed separately; for example, unsupplemented water may be abstracted during announced periods based on flow thresholds that ensure environmental streamflows are maintained.


Trades and water rights transfers

  • There are three active water markets in Queensland:
    • The water allocation market concerns the trading of regulated water access entitlements.
    • The seasonal water assignment market deals with the seasonal (temporary) assignment of water allocations and other entitlements.
    • The relocatable water licence market concerns the relocation of water licences from one parcel of land to another.
  • Unallocated water is also available for tender in the region from the Strategic or General Reserve unallocated water outlined in the Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011.


Water market rules: inter-valley and within-valley trading


Restrictions on trade

  • In the Fitzroy region, trade or lease of access entitlements or allocations do not occur between water supply schemes but can occur between zones within them.
  • No restrictions on trade other than the rules listed in the Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011 exist.