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 particularly 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
The department has now commenced a process to release unallocated water in the below water resource plan areas. Further details about the processes can be found in the Terms of Sale.
|Plan area||Process||Volume available (ML)||Terms of Sale document||Closing date|
|Gulf||Competitive tender||264550||Release of unallocated water in the Gulf Terms of Sale (PDF, 587.1KB)||29 January 2016|
|Great Artesian Basin||Competitive tender||18200||Release of unallocated water in the Great Artesian Basin Terms of Sale (PDF, 1.9MB)||11 December 2015|
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 released (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.
#released occurred in the Surat, Surat East and South North management areas.
- The Volume released 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.