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Lockyer Valley groundwater management

Groundwater planning and management

In the past, only the Central Lockyer area (Implementation Area 1) has been a declared subartesian area. As such, it has been the only area in this catchment where the use of groundwater has been licensed and metered. Groundwater use in other parts of the Lockyer Valley has not been regulated.

The alluvial aquifers of the Lockyer Valley are recognised as a stressed groundwater area, with groundwater use continuing to exceed the estimated sustainable yield. Sandstone aquifers have also experienced major stress in some areas.

The department has therefore taken steps to protect this resource by managing the take of groundwater under the water resource (Moreton) plan.

Management time line

Groundwater management in the Moreton catchment has progressed as follows:

  • In March 2006, the department released the Great Artesian Basin water plan.
  • In March 2007, the Moreton water plan was released.

Under these plans, all groundwater in the Lockyer Valley can now be managed under a water plan's underground water management area. A water plan details what the government aims to achieve for a catchment’s social, economic and environmental needs and to ensure the equitable management of the State's water resources.

Gatton Esk Road Implementation Area

The sandstone aquifers of the Gatton Esk Road Implementation Area have been identified as a high priority stressed groundwater area under the GAB water plan. Licensing of the take of groundwater from sandstone aquifers in this area has been completed.

Remaining areas

The remaining Lockyer Valley groundwater has been divided into implementation areas to allow a progressive management approach. All implementation areas can be viewed on the Lockyer Valley groundwater area implementation areas map (PDF, 573.7KB).

This approach seeks to develop a better understanding of groundwater resources, including volumes used, recharge characteristics and the sustainable yield of aquifers, so that groundwater use can be managed within sustainable yields. Two initiatives will assist in this process:

  • licensing and metering of groundwater use within these implementation areas, which will provide vital information needed to manage water resources
  • the monitoring bore network within the Lockyer Valley, which will also be expanded.

Drilling of new bores

The use of groundwater for stock watering and/or domestic purposes does not require a water licence. Drilling of these stock and domestic bores does not require a development permit.

Landowners wishing to replace an existing bore that is being used for purposes other than stock of domestic purposes are required to apply for, and have approved, a Development Permit under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 before construction of the new bore can begin. Please contact the Gatton Office on (07) 5346 9537 for advice regarding the drilling of a new bore.

Lockyer water users forum

The water users forum has been working with the department since 2003 to assist in managing the Valley's groundwater resources and to investigate opportunities for water users to provide input into the management of the alluvial groundwater.

Contact us

For more information contact the Gatton Office on (07) 5346 9537.


Last updated: 26 May 2017

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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