Strategic water infrastructure reserve release (Dawson Valley Water Management Area)

Water has been made available from the Strategic Water Infrastructure Reserve in the Dawson Valley Water Management Area (Dawson Valley WMA) to allow landholders to expand or diversify irrigation activity.

The water is supporting a wide range of agricultural production, including cotton, grains and cereals, trees and small crops, with the aim of strengthening economic development and creating jobs in the region.

In 2019, 90,000 megalitres (ML) of unsupplemented water were made available for use each year for a temporary period of 3 years. Through an application process, 12 water licences were granted on 1 October 2019 with a total volume of 69,500ML per year for 3 years.

Learn more about the findings from a review of the 2019 release of Strategic Water Infrastructure Reserve in the Dawson Valley WMA.

Submissions for a temporary water licence

Submissions are now closed.

We're making this water available again for temporary access over the next 3 years to eligible water users along the Dawson River. Up to 90,000ML per year is reserved under the Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011 and available through temporary water licence applications.

Read the Terms of Sale (PDF, 975KB) for information on the release and submission process.

Strategic water infrastructure reserve – Dawson River pilot project 2019

In 2019, a pilot project was launched to make reserved water in the Dawson River available to landholders wanting to diversify irrigation development and cropping activity.

Altogether, 90,000 megalitres of unsupplemented water were released in 2019 for use each year for a temporary period of 3 years. Through an application process, 12 water licences were granted on 1 October 2019 with a total volume of 69,500ML per year for 3 years.

The following details are for 3-year metered water licences granted to irrigators on 1 October 2019. You can also view a map showing the location of the licences granted (PDF, 621KB).

Dawson Valley WMA location Number of 3-year water licences Nominal entitlement volume
Zone Dawson C 1 450 ML
Zone Dawson D 1 5,600 ML
Zone Dawson G 4 38,000 ML
Zone Dawson H 3 10,225 ML
Zone Dawson I 1 6,125 ML
Zone Dawson J 2 5,500 ML
Total 12 65,900 ML

Through consultation with water licence holders and other key stakeholders, the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) completed a review of the pilot project (PDF, 1.2MB) to understand outcomes and impacts and help inform future decisions on this reserved water.

Key outcomes for the Dawson Valley Water Management Area were:

  • average unsupplemented water use increased by 17%
  • average supplemented water use increased by 5%
  • area of irrigated cropping land expanded by 1,900ha
  • cropping frequency increased
  • employment and investment increased
  • permanent trades of unsupplemented water decreased by 78%
  • volume of unsupplemented water being permanently traded decreased by 47%.

Contact us

Email UAW_DawsonSWIR@rdmw.qld.gov.au to discuss this release or for assistance with the application process.

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