Water planning framework

Water plans are developed under the Water Act 2000 to sustainably manage and allocate water resources in Queensland.

The water plan may apply to:

  • rivers, lakes and springs
  • overland flow
  • underground water.

We tailor water plans for each plan area to balance the needs of:

  • water users (e.g. towns, agriculture and other industries)
  • the environment.

All water plans include unallocated water reserves which can be made available for future use without compromising the security of existing users or the environmental values within a catchment.

These reserves include Indigenous water reserves held for projects that advance the social and economic aspirations of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

This guide explains how water plans are developed, implemented, monitored and reviewed.

Stages in the water plan development process

Chart showing the cycle of water planning.