On average Queensland uses 4591 GL of water per year, which is 19% of Australia's total use. Of the total water use, 2969 GL of water is used from surface water sources and 3202 GL of surface water is allocated to consumptive use.
1622 GL of water is used from groundwater sources. The sustainable yield of groundwater for Queensland is 2784 GL per year which is 10% of Australia's total.
23 of the 107 Surface Water Management Areas and 53 of the 99 groundwater management units are assessed as being highly or overdeveloped.
Map of Queensland's surface water management areas
Select a surface water management area on the map to find out more about that area.
Map of Queensland's groundwater provinces
Select a groundwater province on the map to find out more about that area.
Water is a precious commodity. The Queensland Department of Natural Resources has the responsibility of managing water to ensure the present and future rural, industrial and urban needs of Queenslanders are met whilst ensuring our river and groundwater systems remain healthy. This includes developing new water industry policies to comply with state and national agreements, facilitating community catchment management and planning for adequate supplies of water to meet the economic growth of Queensland.
It also means implementing the Government's program to develop an adequate, cost-effective and well-managed water infrastructure, to supply bulk water, distribute water for irrigation and reduce the effects of flooding through the development and implementation of water management schemes and storm-water drainage.
Ongoing planning and development of new water infrastructure will support continued economic growth and enhancement of community lifestyles. The Department is undertaking a major water infrastructure planning and development program in consultation with our clients. This will result in the supply of additional water for rural, industrial and urban use, improved groundwater management, increased water use efficiency, wastewater reuse, water quality monitoring and enhanced environmental management of waterways.
Enhanced environmental management of waterways is affected by regulating water use, environmental impact appraisals and management plans, water works licensing and the issuing of sand and gravel permits.
The Water Allocation and Management Plans (WAMPs) will have a primary role in managing the water resources of the State. A WAMP determines the amount of water available for use and the amount of water that must be left in the system for the environment.
The Queensland Wastewater Reuse Strategy provides a framework for the reuse of wastewater. The project was developed in partnership with many community groups and will address specific policies, guidelines and community education programs for the safe use of reclaimed water.
Monitoring the safety of dams to ensure the highest structural soundness and safety of large water storages and mine tailings dams, is another key role for the Department.
Within this Department the state water infrastructure is managed by the commercial operator, State Water Projects, through three separate regional offices. It supplies more than 6300 farms and 220000 hectares of land with irrigation water. More than 54 towns and 16 mining/industrial enterprises are provided with bulk water.
Surface Water Reporting Units
For this Audit, the basins as designated by the Australian Water Resources Council (AWRC) have generally been adopted as a reporting unit in Queensland. A number of these basins have been further subdivided to smaller areas that reflect operational areas within the basin. This assessment reports on 99 Surface Water Management Areas (SWMAs).
Groundwater Reporting Units
Groundwater abstraction, allocation and use information has been reported at two levels - Groundwater Management Units (GMUs) and Unincorporated Areas (UAs). These units fall within Queensland Province boundaries, which were the reporting unit for the 1985 Audit.
Groundwater Management Units fall into either the sub-artesian or artesian category and may overlap. The sub-artesian GMUs have been defined in accordance with current management practices applied by the Department of Natural Resources. Artesian GMUs have been defined into hydrologic zones in accordance with the guidelines set by the Great Artesian Basin Consultative Council.
Groundwater Provinces are based on the principal hydro-geologic basins within Queensland. The Unincorporated Areas comprise the area between the GMUs and the Province boundaries. A total of 113 areas are reported including 79 sub-artesian GMUs, 23 Great Artesian Basin GMUs and 11 UAs. The Great Artesian GMUs are divided into 13 in Queensland, 4 in New South Wales, 4 in South Australia and 2 in Northern Territory.
For further information contact Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water at www.nrm.qld.gov.au.
- View the Queensland Water Resources Assessment 2000 Report
- View the Queensland Water Resources Assessment 2000 Technical Report
- Link to data available for download on the:
- Surface Water Management Areas
- Groundwater management units and provinces - ARC/INFO export
- Data from the 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use
- Link to the Map Maker to make a map using this information.
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