Significant population growth in many major urban centres across Queensland is placing increasing pressure on regional water supplies.
Water security for South East Queensland (SEQ) is facilitated by:
SEQ is the only region in Queensland where desired LOS objectives are mandated by the State Government, by prescription in the Water Regulation 2002. This is due to the bulk water supply system being owned by the State Government, and there is the potential for very high concentrated economic impact if the region runs out of water. Outside of SEQ desired LOS objectives are not mandated, but local councils and water service providers are encouraged to develop and plan for their own desired LOS objectives.
The Queensland Government will continue to work in partnership with water service providers to complete regional water supply security assessments for potential high-growth regions. The assessments will be completed between 2014 and 2017, and will develop a shared understanding of the potential water supply security risks the community faces.
The assessments will forecast water demand for various population growth scenarios, taking into account water availability, reliability and multiple water users — such as urban and agriculture — sharing the same resource. The effects of changing climate conditions, including drought will also be considered. This work program will increase the understanding of the State, water service providers and the wider community with regards to the capability of the water supply source in meeting demand and any associated risks.
Water service providers will remain responsible for consulting, determining and implementing water supply solutions for their communities. Water service providers will then be able to engage with their communities to consider the long term level of service to be provided and what that means for infrastructure solutions, as well as demand management and water efficiency as part of an overall solution.
The Townsville, Cairns, Hervey Bay and Maryborough regional water supply security assessments have been completed. Regional water supply security assessments for other regional centres will be released throughout 2015 to 2017.