Responsibility for water is spread across a number of government agencies:
- DEWS has a governance, regulatory and oversight role for a number of state-owned water entities (commercial businesses) providing water supply services.
- DNRM is responsible for management of the state's natural resources, such as water management and planning.
- DEHP is responsible for the monitoring and protection of water environments.
- DAF is responsible for managing water resources for irrigation.
- Queensland Health co-regulates water quality with DEWS to assure safe drinking water.
- DILGP is responsible for planning that enables responsible development and protection of natural resources.
The Queensland Government has responsibility for a number of water entities which provide services to the community which are essential – including critical water supply infrastructure, such as dams and water treatment plants, and services to support consumer needs.
Water entities in Queensland include:
- Government owned corporations
- Category 1 and Category 2 water authorities (Category 2 water authorities are smaller than Category 1 authorities and are overseen by DNRM)
- Statutory authorities.
Water providers in Queensland also include:
- local governments
- private providers.
Bulk water entities overseen by DEWS
Each water entity operates independently to government on a competitive, commercial basis.
Relationship with bulk water entities
The Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy and Water Supply is ultimately responsible under the following acts:
- South East Queensland Water (Restructuring) Act 2007 for Seqwater (with the Treasurer)
- Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 for SunWater (with the Treasurer)
- Water Act 2000 for Mount Isa Water Board and Gladstone Area Water Board.
Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater are statutory authorities that are controlled by local governments under the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009.
The department's role in monitoring the performance of these bulk water entities is shared with Queensland Treasury for Seqwater and SunWater.
DEWS is responsible for:
- monitoring and regulation of water service providers and referable dams.
- administering the process for appointments to Category 1 water authorities boards
- advising responsible and shareholding Ministers of critical current and emerging issues that may impact on government-owned businesses.