Unallocated water is reserved under water planning instruments - it can be made available for future use without compromising the security of existing users or the environmental values within a catchment.
The types of unallocated water and the purposes they can be made available for include:
- General reserve - for any purpose
- Strategic or state reserve - for projects that we consider to be of regional significance for the plan area or for coordinated projects under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971
- Strategic infrastructure - to facilitate the development of particular water infrastructure projects (e.g. new dams) in the relevant water plan area
- Indigenous reserve - for projects that advance the social and economic aspirations of indigenous people.
We are now accepting online applications for unallocated water held in general reserves in the Cloncurry and Gilbert rivers. Applications will be accepted until all the water is sold.
- Terms of sale (PDF, 1.1MB)
- Online submission form
- Public notice with map of the areas for water availability
- Gulf release fact sheet
Vegetation clearing requirements
If you intend to clear regulated vegetation, make sure you check all requirements for clearing for high-value agriculture before applying.
To satisfy this requirement, you must have a development approval for clearing or have applied for a section 22A determination that the proposed clearing of vegetation is for a relevant purpose under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.
- Read about applying to clear for high-value agriculture.
- Download the Guidelines for applying to clear for high-value or irrigated high-value agriculture and the Development plan template (PDF, 192KB).
Tenders for general reserve unallocated water in subcatchment areas of the Fitzroy Basin closed on the 23 February 2017. We are currently assessing the tenders received.
Tenders are being assessed and offers made in a staged approach. This will be done in groups associated with the area of release. The groups are as follows:
- Group 1 - Callide groundwater management area, Highland groundwater management area
- Group 2 - Carnarvon groundwater management area, Upper Dawson sub-catchment
- Group 3 - Isaac Connors, Lower Mackenzie and Fitzroy sub-catchments; Isaac Connors groundwater management area; Fitzroy groundwater management area.
This approach will not extend the overall processing time.
Previous unallocated general reserve water releases
This table shows key data about release processes that have occurred previously and which have been completed. In some areas only parts of the plan area have had unallocated general reserve water released.
|Plan area||Release date||Water type||Volume available for release (ML)||Volume granted (ML)||Summary report|
|Whitsunday||18/12/2015||Groundwater and surface water||28,500||1,700||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 727.0KB)|
|Gulf||06/11/2015||Groundwater and surface water||264,550||100,000||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 1.4MB)|
|Great Artesian Basin||22/10/2015||Groundwater||18,200||1,780^||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 1.3MB)|
|Whitsunday||18/06/2014||Groundwater and surface water||28,500||0||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 904.7KB)|
|Great Artesian Basin||30/05/2013||Groundwater||7,200#||785||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 1.3MB)|
|Baffle Creek||21/06/2013||Surface water||11,600||633*||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 2.1MB)|
|Gulf–Flinders & Gilbert||24/12/2012||Surface water||95,000||94,220||Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 2.1MB)|
^release occurred in 27 of the 32 management areas.
#release occurred in the Surat, Surat East and Surat North management areas.
*33ML was granted during the tender process with a further 600ML granted following the completion of the tender process.
- Volume available for release refers to the amount of volume released during that process. For whole of catchment releases, such as Whitsunday, this figure represents the total amount of unallocated water available for release as stated in the relevant plan. For releases in sub-catchment areas this figure only represents the total available in those sub-catchment areas, as stated in the relevant water plan.
- Volume granted refers to the amount of water granted during the release. This can be less than the volume available if there is a lack of sufficient interest or if applicants were unable to meet the criteria for purchase of the water.
- View volumes of general reserve unallocated water on the Water for Queensland map.