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. Listed below are key planning activities that should be undertaken by service providers to reduce risks to water supply security and continuity of services, and links to relevant guidelines:

Read our guide to managing water supply risk for more information and water security planning guidelines.

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