South East Queensland water security
The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water provides a framework to provide long-term water security for South East Queensland (SEQ), as prescribed in the Water Act 2000. The aim is to ensure the delivery of a sustainable and secure water supply.
- provides for the desired level of service (LOS) objectives for water security in the SEQ region
- requires the bulk water supply authority to have a water security program to facilitate the achievement of the desired LOS objectives.
Desired level of service objectives for SEQ
The desired LOS objectives are set in the Water Regulation 2016 (sections 79-81) .
These objectives for SEQ require that the bulk water supply network be able to supply enough water:
- to meet the projected regional average urban demand estimated by Seqwater, so that medium level water restrictions on residential water use will (on average) not occur more than once every 10 years, be more severe than 140 litres per person per day, or last more than 1 year
- to provide an essential minimum supply volume of 100 litres per person per day in an extreme drought event (i.e. a 1 in a 10,000 year event), so that key storages (i.e. Baroon Pocket, Wivenhoe and Hinze dams) will not reach their minimum operating level more than once in every 10,000 years on average.
Review of LOS objectives
The 2019 review of the LOS objectives (PDF, 999KB) found that the current objectives are satisfactory in helping to ensure water security for SEQ. The review recommended:
- updating the Water security program guidelines for South East Queensland (PDF, 712KB)
- updating legislation to change the duration of medium-level restrictions objective.
The process to update the legislation is now underway to specify that the total duration of medium level water restrictions and more severe level water restrictions last no longer than 5% of modelled time.
A consultation report (PDF, 410KB) is available which provides details of the public submission process and more general consultation that was undertaken to support the update.
Water security program guidelines
The November 2019 Water security program guidelines for South East Queensland (PDF, 712KB) provide Seqwater with information and guidance for program preparation. It clarifies various aspects of the interpretation of the desired LOS objectives in the Water Regulation 2016. The updated guidelines incorporate the recommendations of the 2019 review of the LOS objectives.
Water for life: South East Queensland's Water Security Program 2016–2046 (version 2) was published in March 2017.
This program outlines how the desired LOS objectives for South East Queensland are proposed to be achieved over the next 30 years. It includes information about the operation of the bulk water supply system, future bulk water infrastructure, and drought response.