Water planning and management activities
The Queensland Government undertakes a number of water planning and management activities to manage the state’s water resources sustainably and to ensure adequate water supplies for future generations.
The costs of water planning and management activities are subject to normal budgetary processes, involving scrutiny of the proposed expenditure by the Queensland Government and the estimates committee through the estimates process. The Department of Environment and Resource Management (the department) also undertakes yearly audits and reviews of expenditure.
The activities the department undertakes in 2011–12 include:
- Water planning
- Water management
- Water monitoring and evaluation
- Information management and reporting
- Water administration and regulation
Queensland’s water resource planning process is designed to plan for the allocation and sustainable management of water to meet the state's current and future water requirements. Water resource plans (WRPs) strive to achieve a sustainable balance between meeting human needs and those of the environment.
Resource operations plans (ROPs) implement the outcomes and strategies specified in the WRPs. They detail the practical business of sharing and managing the water resources from day-to-day in a way that meets the water resource plan's objectives.
The department undertakes a number of programs and measures to water improve water use.
Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative
Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative (RWUEI) is a Queensland Government/rural industry partnership which provides services to irrigators to help them improve water use efficiency and adopt sustainable irrigation management practices.
Land and water management plans
Under the Water Act 2000, irrigators are required to have a land and water management plan (LWMP) approved by the department. Read more about LWMPs.
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative
The department is also a participant in the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) that provides assistance to landholders to rehabilitate bores and replace bore drains with piped systems.
Water monitoring and evaluation
The department undertakes water resource monitoring, stream flow gauging and other monitoring and evaluation. The information gathered through these activities assists in the development of water policy, planning decisions, compliance with ROPs and allocation decisions in water management areas.
Information management and reporting
The department has developed a system called the ‘water management system’ that records the details of all entitlements, other authorisations and data related to water resource management held by each client. This new system aids in data collection and processing of data.
The Water Allocations Register centrally records ownership and other information on water allocations, which are assets separate from land. This is similar to how details of land ownership and dealings are recorded on the Land Registry.
Water administration and regulation
Administration of entitlements and permits
The department undertakes the following activities:
- granting of water allocations, entitlements and permits to unsupplemented and supplemented customers
- processing of applications and transactions relating to water entitlements
- ensuring compliance with water entitlements and other conditions
- regulation of water related works of developments (dams, bores, pumping equipment).
Administration of trading arrangements
Permanent water trading is available for water allocations in all ROP areas. The department administers permanent and temporary water trading approvals in these ROP areas. The department also undertakes policy development and implementation of trading frameworks when ROPs commence.
Applications for trade are assessed against trading rules which are outlined in the relevant ROP for each catchment area. Any approvals ensure that trades (e.g. seasonal water assignments, changes, subdivisions and amalgamations) do not adversely affect the security of water allocations and environmental flow objectives.
The department undertakes billing and debt management for water entitlement holders in declared water management areas and declared metering areas, and water licence holders.
Administration of water metering arrangements
There are metering areas in some catchments and departmental regional officers manage metering activities in these areas on an ongoing basis.
Last updated 24 February 2012