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.
In setting irrigation prices, the government seeks to strike a balance between:
- cost recovery for the services provided
- impacts on customers
- keeping prices as simple and transparent as possible.
This page provides information on current irrigation prices and explains how prices are set.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Irrigation prices
To support Queensland farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic, irrigation water prices will remain the same or fall for 2020–21.
Prices beyond 2020–21 will be a matter for future consideration.
Irrigation prices for 2020–21
In recognition of current economic conditions, prices for 2020–21 will be maintained at 2019–20 levels except if the Queensland Competition Authority has recommended price decreases. In these cases, these price decreases have been applied.
View details of the prices for 2020–21 in the Queensland Government Gazette that was published on 3 July 2020.
How irrigation 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 and Sunwater irrigation prices for 2020–21 to 2023–24. This review was finalised in January 2020.
The response to each of the QCA's recommendations can be found in the Queensland Government Gazette from 5 May 2020.
The government's key policy is generally for prices to move towards recovering 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.
In May 2020, the government announced it would absorb irrigators' share of dam safety upgrade costs rather than seek to recover them through irrigation prices. The government will continue to subsidise these costs rather than ask irrigators to contribute towards them.
For 2020–21 the approach to maintain prices at no more than 2019–20 levels is consistent with the temporary relief measures being provided to other Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19 at this time.
The government provides a subsidy known as a community service obligation (CSO) payment to Seqwater and Sunwater from the Queensland budget when prices are set below the level necessary for Seqwater and Sunwater to meet the operating, maintenance and refurbishment 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).
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.
- Read more about local management arrangements for Sunwater's channels.
- Find out more about Seqwater water supply schemes and Sunwater water supply schemes.
- View a map showing the location of Queensland’s irrigation scheme areas (PDF, 124KB) managed by Seqwater and Sunwater.
- Last reviewed: 10 Jul 2020
- Last updated: 10 Jul 2020