Water supply responsibility
Queensland's water supply systems (including dams, weirs, desalination plants, and other water treatment plants and infrastructure) are owned and managed by:
- government owned entities (Sunwater, Seqwater, Mount Isa Water Board and Gladstone Area Water Board)
- private entities (e.g. mining companies, port authorities, estate managers)
- local councils (for the majority of Queensland outside South East Queensland).
The ownership and management of water supply systems varies across the state.
In South East Queensland (SEQ), Seqwater owns the bulk water supply infrastructure (i.e. dams and weirs) and is responsible for long-term water supply planning for the region. Water utilities and councils provide water to homes and businesses within SEQ.
Read more about the framework for water security in SEQ, and read about Seqwater's Water for life: South East Queensland's water security program.
Outside SEQ, SunWater owns most of the state's bulk water infrastructure. Councils can also own dams and weirs, and bores to access underground water. Councils generally operate as service providers, owning most of the water treatment facilities and distribution networks, and providing retail services to homes and businesses.
Responsibility for urban water security
Responsibility for urban water supply security and continuity of supply lies with service providers. Some key planning activities that should be undertaken by service providers to reduce risks to water supply security and continuity of services are:
- asset management planning and reviewing key capacity constraints: to optimise existing assets
- drought response planning: to be proactive, and to help reduce costs and the risk of supply shortfalls
- demand forecasting: understanding how demands could change to support planning
- reviewing timing for future supply augmentation: to ensure adequate water supply to meet future demands.
Read our guide to managing water supply risk for more information and guidelines.
- Read about planning guidelines for water supply and sewerage (PDF, 1.5MB)
- Find out about managing water demand.