Water resource compliance

Queensland's water resources are allocated for productive and sustainable use. Water resource regulations are in place to protect the rights of water users and minimise the unlawful take or use of water.

This information is primarily intended for rural water users.

Water use is monitored and evaluated for compliance with the Water Act 2000 and is aimed at further securing water entitlements, and helping prevent and respond to illegal activities, such as the unlawful take of rural water.

To focus compliance efforts in the right areas, water resources across Queensland have been assessed and categorised for risk. Monitoring is greater in areas where the pressure on water resources is greater.

Queensland legislation will be reviewed and amended, where needed, to support nationally-consistent best-practice compliance. This will also ensure water resources laws are consistent with our wider environment and natural resource management laws.

We will consider and update, if necessary, procedures, policies and training to support our water compliance activities.


Entitlement holders are not required to bear the onus of proof about who is responsible for offences relating to taking or supplying water. The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) is required to collect evidence to prove who is responsible for the offence. This is consistent with current prosecution principles and DNRME compliance approach.