Unallocated water

Unallocated water can be made available for future consumptive use without compromising the environment or the security of existing supplies.

For information on unallocated water in your area, contact the department's business centre in the relevant water resource plan area.

Current unallocated water releases

Plan area Areas and type of water available Progress
Gulf Strategic Reserve—Gilbert, Flinders, Norman and Nicholson river catchments Submission period closed.
Baffle Creek Basin General Reserve—Littabella Creek, Baffle Creek, Broadwater Creek, Eurimbula Creek, and Worthington Creek catchment areas Completed
Great Artesian Basin General Reserve—Surat, Surat North and Surat East management areas Submission period closed. Tenders being assessed
Gulf General Reserve—Flinders and Gilbert river catchments Completed

Gulf plan area—strategic reserve

Up to a combined total of 5,200 megalitres will be released from the strategic reserve in the Gilbert, Flinders, Norman and Nicholson river catchment areas.

Under the Water Resource (Gulf) Plan 2007 strategic reserve unallocated water may be released for a state purpose such as town water supply.

The process began with the publishing of a public notice on Friday 22 November 2013.

The public notice provides information about the water being made available, eligibility criteria and contact details for more information.

Tender process

The period for submitting tenders closed on 6 December 2013. We are currently assessing tenders.

For more information, contact the department on (07) 4799 7505 or by email: Water Management.

Baffle Creek Basin—release of unallocated water

On 21 June 2013, the Chief Executive of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines started a process to release unallocated water from the general reserves of unallocated water in the Litabella Creek, Baffle Creek, Broadwater Creek, Eurimbula Creek, and Worthington Creek catchment areas of the Water Resource (Baffle Creek Basin) Plan 2010 area.

This tender process has been completed. Water licences have been granted to successful tenderers.

The department is currently preparing a report summarising the outcomes of the tender process. 

Great Artesian Basin—release of unallocated water

Up to a combined total of 7200 megalitres of unallocated water will be released from the Surat, Surat East and Surat North management areas.

On 30 May 2013, the tender process for general reserve unallocated water commenced.

The public notice and the sale notice provide details about the water available for purchase, and requirements for tenders.

Tender process

The period for submitting tenders closed on 26 July 2013. We are currently assessing tenders.

The following information is available:

The department will grant water licences based on certain criteria and will set a reserve price, which ensures State-owned natural resource assets are sold for a fair price.

The tender process described above identifies management units from which general reserve unallocated water is being made available. Applications to relocate water licences and applications to amend a volumetric licence to deepen a bore in these management units will not be dealt with during the tender process. Applications will continue to be received by the department.

This will ensure that the unallocated water release process is not compromised by decisions being made outside the tender process that could have an impact on the success of tenders.

This administrative hold will start on the day the public notice is published announcing the release of unallocated water and will be lifted after water licences have been granted to successful tenderers.

The department will continue to process non-volumetric stock and domestic licence dealings in accordance with the Great Artesian Basin Water Resource Plan and Resource Operations Plan.

If you would like more information about the release process, please contact the department on (07) 4529 1412 or email: Principal Natural Resource Officer.

Gulf plan area—tender process completed

On 26 July 2012, the Chief Executive of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines started a process to release unallocated water from the general reserves of the Flinders and Gilbert river catchments of the Water Resource (Gulf) Plan 2007 area.

This tender process has been completed. Water licences have been granted to successful tenderers.

The department has prepared a report summarising the outcomes of the tender process (PDF, 2.1MB). This report has been reviewed and endorsed by the probity auditor overseeing the tender process.

Last updated 17 March 2014

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