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

Water has been released 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.

Altogether, 90,000 megalitres of unsupplemented water was released in 2019.

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.

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).

For more information about the outcomes of the release, contact

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

Transfers, renewals and other licence changes

Term of water licence

Water licences granted under the release will expire on 30 September 2022.

Change of land ownership

The entitlement issued for unallocated water is a water licence that attaches to land. If the land is sold, the new owner of land becomes the water licence holder and is accountable for meeting the licence conditions.

Other licence changes

There is no ability to renew, relocate, amalgamate or subdivide the water licence.


Water licences granted in accordance with the terms of sale may be cancelled before the expiry date of 30 September 2022 if either:

  • the water licence holder does not pay annual water charges issued for water taken under the licence
  • the chief executive decides that the water is required by the proponents for the Nathan Dam and Pipeline Project before the expiry date.

Impact on existing entitlements and the environment

Licences granted include conditions that are designed to meet environmental flow objectives and protect existing users' access to water.

The daily volumetric limit, maximum rate of take and passing flow conditions for new entitlements will ensure that existing users are not impacted. Flow thresholds will ensure that peak flows continue to provide ecological benefits to waterholes and floodplains.