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Water agreements

Stock route water facilities are established water points located along the stock route network, including artesian and sub-artesian bores, dams and wells. These facilities may be located either on reserves for travelling stock or on road reserves that have been declared as stock routes.

Water facilities are mainly for the use of travelling stock. However, where the capacity of a facility exceeds the needs of travelling stock, nearby landowners wanting to take water may apply for a stock route water facility agreement. These agreements are contracts between the landowner, a local government and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM).

You must apply to the local government before taking water from a stock route facility. Taking water from a stock route water facility without an agreement or permit is an offence.

Types of agreements

Agreements are required to:

  • access a supply of water from a stock route facility for stock or domestic purposes, with an option to perform facility maintenance
  • supply water to a stock route facility from a landholder's private facility
  • water travelling stock at a landowner's private water facility
  • construct a water facility on either the stock route network or the landowner's property.


Domestic purposes

Water accessed for domestic purposes is charged at a flat fee, which is indexed annually.

Stock watering

Stock watering fees are calculated according to the area watered method. This applies the following equation:

Annual fee = potential benefited area x indexed rate

The potential benefited area is the radial area surrounding a water point (5km radius for cattle and 2.5km radius for sheep), which represents the relative benefit a landholder is getting from accessing water from the stock route water facility. The indexed rate is linked to the average property value per hectare, which is calculated by dividing the unimproved property valuation by the total area of the property.

A minimum stock watering fee applies, which is indexed annually.

Combined domestic and stock purposes

In cases where water is being taken for both domestic and stock purposes, the calculated fee for stock is added to the flat fee for domestic use to determine the total amount payable.

Waiving or reduction in fees

Fees may be waived or reduced if there is temporary loss of water or diminished supply, or if the landholder negotiates with the local government to undertake regular maintenance of the facility.

How to apply

Complete the Application for a stock route water facility agreement (PDF, 279.5KB) and send it to the relevant local government. Applications can generally be lodged in person or by post, fax or email (check with the local council).

What happens next?

The local government will assess the application and contact you when this has been completed.

Review of water agreements

Water agreements are reviewed every 5 years, but any of the parties to the agreement can ask for a review at any time.

Termination of water agreements

Water agreements are automatically terminated when the landholder's property is sold or transferred. New owners wishing to continue with arrangements must make a new agreement.

Agreements can also be terminated by agreement; by any party giving 90 days notice; or if the facility loses its water source permanently.

Register of water agreements

Local governments are required to maintain a register of water agreements, which can be accessed by the public for a fee. Contact the relevant local government for details.

Find out more

  • Contact one of our business centres to purchase a detailed map of the Queensland stock route network and water points.
  • Contact the relevant local government for enquiries about stock routes and permits.


Last updated: 23 March 2015

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is an economic development agency that enables the productive and responsible use of our natural resources – water, land, mineral and energy resources – to generate wealth and prosperity for current and future generations of Queenslanders.

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