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Unallocated water

Unallocated water is reserved under water planning instruments and can be made available for future consumptive use without compromising the security of existing users or the environmental values within a catchment.

Types of unallocated water include:

  • General reserve: water that may be granted for any purpose  
  • Strategic or state reserve: water that may be granted for projects that the chief executive considers are of regional significance for the plan area or have been declared to be coordinated projects under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971
  • Strategic infrastructure: water that may be granted to facilitate the development of particular water infrastructure projects (e.g. new dams) in the relevant water plan  
  • Indigenous reserve: water that may be granted for projects that advance the social and economic aspirations of indigenous people  

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

Gulf

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has completed the preliminary assessment of tenders for Gulf unallocated water. Tenderers have either been notified that they do not need to provide further information at this stage, or have been requested to clarify elements of their tender proposal.  Responses  to those requests for clarifying information are due by Friday 8 July 2016.

The department will then consider this information before finalising assessments and deciding successful tenders.

Great Artesian Basin

The department is finalising the assessments of tenders for the unallocated water release from the Great Artesian Basin. It is anticipated that offers will be sent to successful tenderers in the coming weeks.

Fixed price process

The department has commenced a fixed price sale process in the Whitsunday Water Resource Plan area. Only those who applied in the 2014 tender process were eligible to apply. The Terms of Sale have been provided to eligible candidates with applications closing on the 26 February 2016. Future releases will be considered by the Chief Executive after the conclusion of the closed fixed price process.

The department is assessing applications received for this fixed price unallocated water release process.

Future releases will be considered by the Chief Executive after the conclusion of the closed fixed price process.

Water for Queensland map

The water for Queensland map displays the unallocated water general reserve volumes of surface and sub-artesian water that is available in each catchment or management area across Queensland. The map also shows the unallocated water general reserve volumes of artesian water available in management areas of the Great Artesian Basin.

Previous unallocated general reserve water releases

The table below show key data about release processes that have occurred previously and which have been completed. Note that 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
Baffle Creek 21 Jun 2013 Surface water 11,600 633* Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 2.1MB)
Great Artesian Basin 30 May 2013 Surface water 7,200# 785 Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 1.3MB)
Gulf -Flinders & Gilbert 22 Nov 2013 Surface water 95,000 94,220 Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 2.1MB)
Whitsunday 18 Jun 2014 Surface water 28,500 0 Report summarising the outcomes (PDF, 904.7KB)

*33ML was granted during the tender process with a further 600ML granted following the completion of the tender process.
#release occurred in the Surat, Surat East and Surat North management areas.

  • The Volume available for release column 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 water 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.
  • The Volume granted column 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.

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Last updated: 30 June 2016

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