Strategic water infrastructure reserve release (Dawson Valley Water Management Area)
Water has been made available from the strategic water infrastructure reserve (SWIR) in the Dawson Valley water management area (Dawson Valley WMA) to allow landholders to expand or diversify irrigation activity.
SWIR water is held as unallocated water under the Water Plan (Fitzroy Basin) 2011 to enable the development of infrastructure projects such as Rookwood Weir. Changes to the Water Act 2000 has enabled SWIR water to be granted as temporary licences, which ensures the water can still support strategic infrastructure projects in the future.
Altogether, we offered 90,000 megalitres (ML) of SWIR water from the Dawson River for use each year for a temporary period. Through a submission process, 13 water licences have been granted with an expiry date of 30 September 2025. These temporary water licences allow licensees access up to 69,360ML of SWIR water each year.
Below is a summary of the water licences granted within the Dawson Valley WMA. For more information on this release process and the granting of temporary water licences, read our evaluation report (PDF, 2.2MB).
|Dawson Valley WMA location||Number of 3-year water licences||Nominal entitlement volume (ML)|
Pilot project 2019
In 2019, a pilot project was launched to make SWIR water in the Dawson River available to landholders wanting to diversify irrigation development and cropping activity.
Altogether, 90,000 megalitres of unsupplemented water was released in 2019 for use each year for a temporary period of 3 years. Through a submission process, 12 water licences were granted on 1 October 2019 with a total volume of 69,500ML per year for 3 years. These water licences expired on 30 September 2022.
Below is a summary of the water licences granted within the Dawson Valley WMA.
|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|
Through consultation with SWIR 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 WMA 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%.
- Last reviewed: 6 Mar 2023
- Last updated: 7 Mar 2023