Gold Coast water plan

The process to review and replace the Water Plan (Gold Coast) 2006 is underway. We need to develop a replacement water plan that addresses current and emerging issues within the water plan area.

About the water plan area

The Gold Coast water plan area (PDF, 669.4KB) covers approximately 1,300 square kilometres in South East Queensland and includes the Pimpama River, Coomera River, Nerang River, Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek.

The water plan supports water needs for several urban centres including those along the coastal strip, Pimpama, Jacobs Well, Springbrook, Natural Bridge, Binna Burra and parts of Tamborine Mountain.

The hinterland areas of Springbrook, Natural Bridge, Binna Burra and Tamborine Mountain rely heavily on unsupplemented surface water and groundwater and many do not have access to reticulated water supply.

For supplemented water within the area, surface water from Hinze Dam and Little Nerang Dam is supplied through the Nerang Water Supply Scheme which is owned and operated by Seqwater.

Preliminary public consultation

A preliminary public consultation notice (PDF, 138.9KB) has been released to advise the community and all stakeholders about the proposed planning process, including development of a replacement water plan and its associated implementation documents.

We are seeking community feedback on key issues to be considered in the development of a new draft water plan for the Gold Coast. Submissions close 5pm, Friday 21 July 2023.

The replacement Gold Coast water plan will be based on the best available science including new hydrologic, socioeconomic, environmental and cultural technical assessments and underpinned by consultation with the community, to best meet the needs of the diverse range of water users, and the environment.

Key issues to be considered during the review and replacement include:

  • effectiveness of outcomes, measures, strategies and performance indicators set out in the water plan
  • opportunities for new unallocated water reserves
  • future urban needs and water security for off-grid communities
  • effectiveness of water sharing and water trading rules
  • effectiveness of environmental management rules
  • incorporating best-available science, including consideration of climate change on water availability and the water needs for the environment
  • underground water management in the moratorium areas of Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook
  • overland flow and underground water management
  • current and emerging interests of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, and Native Title holders in relation to water resources in the plan area
  • entitlements without volumetric limits
  • requirements under the Human Rights Act 2019.

How to make a submission

Public input is central to Queensland’s water planning framework to best balance the needs of existing and future water users as well as protecting the natural environment. If you have an interest in how water is managed in the Gold Coast region, your input to help guide our review is welcome.

For further information or to make a submission please contact us:

  • email
  • telephone 07 3708 8999
  • or by post to
    • Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water
      Chief Executive
      Water Planning and Science South Region
      Attention: Senior Policy Officer
      GPO Box 2247
      Brisbane QLD 4001

Submissions close 5pm, Friday 21 July 2023.

This is the first stage of consultation for the Gold Coast water plan review and your feedback will help shape the new draft water plan. There will be further opportunities for local stakeholders and the community to have their say on the development of the replacement water plan.

Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook groundwater

The Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook communities have raised concerns about local water security.

We are working with those communities to better understand their current and future water needs as well as how the groundwater aquifers function.

While groundwater take is currently not managed under the region’s water plan, a moratorium notice (PDF, 136.1KB) has been in place since 6 March 2020 which prohibits the construction of new underground water works (bores) for commercial use in the Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook areas.

We welcome submissions and discussions about the future management of underground water resources in the Gold Coast water plan area as part of our review and replacement of the water plan.

The department continues to work with the Scenic Rim Regional Council, Gold Coast City Council and researchers from Queensland University of Technology to support the ongoing monitoring and assessment of potential impacts to surface and groundwater resources in the moratorium areas. This scientific research is providing the department with a better understanding of the underground water resource to address water security risks in the areas.

Read more about Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook groundwater.

Engagement with stakeholders

Early and ongoing engagement is a critical component in the review and development of a replacement water plan. We are engaging with people to help the community understand the water plan development process, discuss issues and opportunities, and ultimately improve the plan itself.

Engagement provides the opportunity to draw on people’s collective knowledge, and to build collaborative support and involvement in the water planning process. We believe that through active, genuine and cooperative engagement we will achieve a sustainable water plan for the Gold Coast.

A targeted engagement strategy is being used by the department during development of the replacement water plan. This includes engagement with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders which is crucial to improved understanding of current and emerging cultural water needs in the plan area.

Our engagement strategy aims to:

  • enable more detailed, focused and efficient discussion of matters that were identified during consultation with relevant stakeholder groups
  • provide a safe and constructive environment for collaborative stakeholder involvement.

A variety of engagement activities and communication tools will be used during the development of the replacement water plan, for example:

  • individual meetings with stakeholder groups and communities
  • on country meetings with Traditional Owners
  • meetings during the draft water plan public consultation and submission phase
  • presentations at peak industry water engagement forums
  • website and social media communication
  • publication of technical and research reports and supporting information.

Further information

If you need any further information or wish to discuss the Gold Coast water plan with someone from the department, please contact us.

Read more about water management in the Gold Coast area.

Have your say on the Logan Basin water plan review.

Last updated: 16 May 2023