Seqwater and Sunwater irrigation pricing

The Queensland Government sets the price of irrigation water supplied by Seqwater in South-East Queensland and Sunwater elsewhere in Queensland to recover the associated costs of the infrastructure (e.g. dams, weirs and channels).

The prices are regulated to strike a balance regarding:

  • cost recovery for the services provided
  • impacts on customers
  • keeping prices as simple and transparent as possible.

How prices are set

Prices are set following a review process involving the state's independent regulator, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA). Reviews generally cover a 4–5 year period.

For its reviews, the QCA undertakes comprehensive analysis and consults widely to ensure key issues are addressed and that the costs to be recovered in prices are both prudent (i.e. services are needed) and efficient.

The QCA then recommends prices to the government, which makes the final decision on prices. The recommendations must be consistent with pricing policies specified by the government.

Read details of the QCA's most recent recommendations for Seqwater irrigation prices and Sunwater irrigation prices which applied up until 2016–17.

Pricing policies

The government's key policy is to gradually increase prices to the point where prices recover the irrigation share of the scheme's operating, maintenance and refurbishment costs, but not any share of the initial costs of building any assets constructed before 2000.

The government provides community service obligation (CSO) payments to Seqwater and Sunwater from the Queensland budget where it is necessary to give the operators additional revenue to meet the operating and maintenance costs to supply water for irrigation.

Read about 2019–20 CSOs in the Budget Paper 2 – Budget strategy and outlook, Appendix A – Concessions statement (PDF, 365KB).

Prices for 2017–18 to 2019–20

The QCA's next price review was deferred because some Sunwater channel assets were considering transitioning to local management arrangements. Prices for 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20 have been adjusted in line with the previous arrangements which applied up until 2016–17. The next price review by the QCA is currently under way (see below).

View details of the prices for 2019–20 in the Queensland Government Gazette.

Review of pricing arrangements for 2020–24

The QCA is currently reviewing prices for 2020–24, with the government's decision to be made in 2020.

Find out more about the QCA Irrigation Price Review and how to participate, including the pricing policies set by the government.

Your water bill

Your water bill from Seqwater or Sunwater for irrigation water includes 2 types of prices:

  • fixed prices - Part A and Part C (if applicable) based on the amount of allocation you hold
  • volumetric prices - Part B and Part D (if applicable) based on the amount of water you use.

Also consider...


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)