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National Water Account 2017

Fitzroy: Water access and use

  • More than 95% of the region's water allocations were from surface water resources, mostly for irrigation scheme supply.
  • Allocation trade in the region was 70 GL, the highest volume of trading in Australia outside of the Murray–Darling Basin.

 

 

For further information on water rights and water use within the region during the year scroll down this page or click on the links below:

 

 

Water rights and use

Mount Jim Crow (© iStock)

 

Surface water rights

Figure S6 Surface water allocation by water supply schemes (WSS) in the regions, 2016–17

Figure S5 Surface water allocation by water supply schemes (WSS) in the regions, 2016–17

 

  • 87% of the region's surface water allocations were associated with the Nogoa Mackenzie and Dawson Valley water supply schemes, mostly for irrigation scheme supply.
  • More information is available on the Bureau's Water Markets Dashboard.

 

Figure S6 Surface water allocations and diversions in the Fitzroy region at 30 June 2017

Figure S6 Surface water allocations and diversions in the Fitzroy region for the year ending 30 June 2017

 

  • Two-thirds of the total surface water allocations were allocated to irrigation scheme supply.
  • Only 3% of the total surface water allocations were for town supply.
  • Water use was between 60–70% of the allocation for the various purposes.

 

Groundwater rights

Figure S7 Groundwater allocations and extractions in the Fitzroy region at 30 June 2017

Figure S7 Groundwater allocations and extractions in the Fitzroy region for the year ending 30 June 2017

 

  • Similar to surface water, most of the groundwater allocations were associated with irrigation scheme supply.
  • Only 7% of the total groundwater allocations were for town supply.
  • Water use was between 50–70% of the allocation for the various purposes.

 

Water market activity

Outback farm, under cloud (© iStock)

 

 

Table S6 Information on water trade in the Fitzroy region during the 2016–17 year
Transaction Volume
ML
No. of trades
Supplemented surface water access entitlement trade  21,003 94
Unsupplemented surface water access entitlement trade  14,352 31
Supplemented groundwater water access entitlement trade  1,126 13
Unsupplemented groundwater water access entitlement trade  997  5
Supplemented surface water temporary trade  69,096
Supplemented groundwater temporary trade  1,126

Source: For permanent trade: Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines 2018, for temporary trade: SunWater Annual Report 2016-17


  • Most of the trades are associated with surface water.
  • Total trading of temporary water allocations in the Fitzroy region (70,222 ML) was the highest by volume in Australia outside of the Murray–Darling Basin.
  • Total volume of entitlements traded in the region was the highest in Queensland outside of the Murray–Darling Basin.
  • The allocation and trading rules can be accessed from the DNRME website, as well as the SunWater and Fitzroy Water websites.

 

Cultural and environmental water

Corn field (© iStock)

 

Cultural benefit

  • The Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011 and Fitzroy Basin Resource Operations Plan support water-related cultural values, including the values of the traditional owners in the plan area, and provide mechanisms that support water being made available for Indigenous communities.
  • Cultural water provisions within the region are generally included within the environmental water provisions.

 

Environmental benefit

Environmental water provisions

  • The Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011 defines general ecological outcomes for the region, and specific outcomes relating specific species and ecosystem.
  • The Water Plan also includes environmental performance objectives defined at 17 river nodes and 4 groundwater nodes based on surface water and groundwater modelling. Maps with the node locations are shown in Schedule 5 of the Plan.
  • Specific environmental and operational rules designed to achieve the Water Plan's performance objective are codified in the Fitzroy Basin Resource Operations Plan.

 



 Figure S8 Example of environmental rules for Dawson River below Neville Hewitt Weir

 

  • Environmental flow release requirements for the main storages are one example of environmental rules defined in the Resource Operations Plan. Figure S8 shows an example for the Dawson River below Neville Hewitt Weir.
  • A minimum baseflow must be passed through the storage when inflows exceed a set flow rate and storage levels are above a set level.
  • A first post-winter flow management strategy allows for a higher pulse flow to be passed through the storages at the start of the wet season, up to the weir discharge capacity.

 

Environmental water outcomes

 

Figure S9 Example of environmental outcomes for Dawson River below Neville Hewitt Weir in 2016–17

 

  • In 2016–17, the minimum baseflow flow requirements for the Dawson River below Neville Hewitt Weir were generally met, except for a short period in March.
  • A pulse event was also passed through the weir in September as part of the first post winter flow strategy. Several other pulse flows also occurred through the year.
  • Under the Queensland Water Act, the performance of water plans is assessed against the outcomes defined in the plans every five years. The next Minister's Performance Assessment for the Fitzroy region is expected in 2019.