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Watercourse identification map

The watercourse identification map will help you determine what authorisations you’ll need to take water or undertake other activities covered by the Water Act 2000.

The map will help you distinguish between:

  • surface water—this is water from features mapped 'lakes' and 'watercourses'
  • overland flow water—from features mapped as 'drainage features'.

If you need help accessing the map, see the detailed instructions below. We recommend you use Google Chrome for best results.

Open map in a new window

How to access the map

  1. Open the Queensland Globe watercourse identification map (opens in a new window).
  2. Tick the checkbox to accept the terms and conditions and select Get started.
  3. Find the area you're interested in by moving around the map, or search for a location using the search tool.
  4. Use the legend in the table below to identify water features.

Please report any errors to your local business centre.

What authorisations will you need?

Once you've determined the type of water feature using the map, you can check the water plan for your area. This will tell you the rules that apply to this type of water. You can also read more about water authorisations.

Contact your local business centre if you have any doubts about what’s required.

Map features

The map is updated every month to reflect any new information.

Type of featureColourNotes
Watercourse Blue line The map can only be used to determine the length of features—not their width
Drainage feature Red line The map can only be used to determine the length of features—not their width
Unmapped Light grey line Contact your local business centre for advice about whether this feature is a watercourse or drainage feature
Downstream limit of a watercourse Blue point Marks the end of the Water Act jurisdiction and the beginning of the Coastal Protection Act 1995 jurisdiction. Contact your local business centre for more information
Lake Light blue point marked 'L' The point is placed near the centre of the lake. If the lake covers multiple land parcels, each parcel will show a lake point. Contact your local business centre for more information on the exact extent of a lake
Spring Dark blue point marked 'S' The point is placed at the centre of the spring. Contact your local business centre for more information on the regulatory provisions that apply to the spring.

Additional map data

The map contains extra information about the features and when they were mapped. To access this data:

  1. Select the Spanner in the upper right-hand side to pop out the toolbar.
  2. Select the identify tool Identify from the toolbar.
  3. Click on a feature. The Layers panel will open on the left.
  4. On the Layers panel, click on the relevant layer to expand it (Watercourse, Drainage feature).
  5. Click on the feature name to display its attributes.

Note: The spatial data for the map can be accessed via the Queensland Spatial Catalogue - QSpatial and the Queensland Government Open Data Portal.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)