Water supply levels of service

Water security level of service (LOS) objectives are the water service provider's targets for long-term water supply security for a community.

LOS objectives commonly include statements about:

  • how much water the water supply system will typically be able to supply
  • how often and for how long water restrictions might occur
  • the possibility of needing an emergency water supply due to a prolonged drought.

The LOS approach helps make sure that the 'bucket of water' available for treatment and distribution is big enough to supply the community's water needs into the future, including during drought.

LOS objectives provide a basis for water supply security planning, helping to balance the need for water with the cost of supplying it.

How to develop objectives

In South East Queensland, desired LOS objectives are legislated. Outside of this region, local councils and water service providers are encouraged to develop their own LOS objectives. To assist this, we have produced the Water security level of service objectives: Guidelines for development (PDF, 1.9MB).

These guidelines provide service providers with:

  • information about the use of LOS objectives in water supply security planning
  • advice on how to develop objectives
  • guidance on how to set appropriate measures to support LOS objectives
  • targets to underpin the long-term water supply security for their community.

When developing LOS objectives, service providers may draw on demand forecasting, as well as assessments of infrastructure capacity and the timing and potential for future augmentation of water supply infrastructure.

Read our guide on managing water supply risk for resources to help guide these activities.

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