Queensland water strategy
Water supports our lives, our lifestyle and our livelihoods.
Water security and sustainability is at the heart of Queensland’s prosperous future. All that is great about Queensland life and nature depends on managing a sustainable and secure water supply for our people, industry and environment.
A strategy for the future of water
The Queensland Water Strategy (PDF, 6.3MB) sets the direction and water legacy we want to pass onto future generations. It is a sector-wide strategy for the future of water management that values our precious water resources through its life-cycle. The strategy summary (PDF, 3.2MB) is an overview of the strategy. Details about the implementation of the strategy are in the roadmap to success (PDF, 289.9KB).
The strategy includes initiatives to improve how we deliver a sustainable and more secure water system for Queensland. It encourages partnerships between communities (including Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples), government and industry for water initiatives. By working together, we can all make a difference to the future of water management - leading to healthy, more resilient catchments, communities, and industries.
Water supports industry and jobs, the food we eat and the world around us.
Water used wisely over time will give us thriving regions, and healthy communities and catchments.
It will become even more vital as we prepare for climate change impacts and a growing population.
Industry sectors like hydrogen and critical minerals will also need to access water.
Caring for water means we need to use it wisely. We need to make sure our water is secure and affordable for everyone.
Strong partnerships will help us to face the challenges ahead for precious water resources such as demand management and catchment health in a changing climate. Working together, we can take care of the social, cultural and environmental values we want to safeguard. Now and in the future.
The Queensland Water Strategy - Water. Our Life Resource sets the vision, priorities and focus of initiatives to guide us over the next five years and beyond.
Strategy vision and direction
The Queensland Water Strategy (QWS) supports partnerships as the key to achieving its goals and vision. It recognises communities, governments, and industries are all contributing to a more sustainable and secure water future for Queensland.
Working together delivers better outcomes for water users, the environment and stakeholders involved. To prepare Queensland for a sustainable and secure water future in a changing climate, the need for evidence based water planning and effective management of water assets is increasing. Regions, government and industry at all levels (local, state, national) are taking action to secure water and plan for the future.
Queensland's sustained and secure water resources are central to the state's economic transformation and legacy we will pass on to future generations.
Water powers our people, planet and economic success in a net zero world.
The strategy includes an implementation roadmap (PDF, 289.9KB). It will help to track progress and report outcomes over the next five years. It will also highlight specific milestones delivered in partnership with stakeholders.
Delivery focus areas
The strategy identifies four focus areas to successfully deliver a sustainable and secure water future for Queensland. Each focus area has a suite of initiatives that are linked through multiple programs of work and stakeholders involved.
- Healthy waterways, rivers, aquifers and sustainable water management.
We are responding swiftly to climate change, using the best available science to maximise our water resources and sustain healthy, more resilient catchments.
- First Nations partnerships, access and ownership.
We will partner with First Nations peoples and develop sustainable practices that build on traditional wisdom and provide opportunities for economic development.
- Water for regional economic prosperity.
We are building state water infrastructure to boost established industries and jobs underpinned by long-term water security.
- Safe and secure water supply.
Every community across Queensland will have access to safe and secure water, alongside support for boosting resilience and contingency plans even in times of severe drought or floods.
Engagement to shape strategy
People across all levels of government, community bodies, universities, First Nations groups, regions and industry have helped shape this strategy.
Throughout 2023, we have used feedback surveys, discussions, engagement workshops and held forums to capture a range of views and ideas.
Contributors looked at actions to date, policies, and the risks and challenges facing Queensland.
A draft strategy was released for community and industry consultation on 4 September 2023. Inputs received helped to form the final strategy.
It grew from a review of the Queensland Bulk Water Opportunities Statement (QBWOS) and stakeholder feedback. It responds industry and community feedback seeking a wider focus beyond infrastructure and bulk water supply matters.
This review process aligned with the release of the State Infrastructure Strategy 2022 (SIS).
In line with the SIS, the department has begun developing a Strategic Water Infrastructure Plan (SWIP) and pipeline of projects that will identify, assess and prioritise water infrastructure projects across regional Queensland for the next 10-15 years.
The SWIP sits alongside the new Queensland Water Strategy. Together, they will replace QBWOS.
Engagement with the community and our stakeholders will continue throughout implementation. We will update the website regularly, and you can follow our work on the department’s social media channels.
Share your water success
Engagement is a critical part of the strategy for the water sector. The department places a high value on sharing knowledge and engaging with local communities to deliver its strategies, policies and initiatives.
Collaborations for sustainable water outcomes will lead to success.
Greater understanding of water resources and catchments, how the water system works, pollution reduction, efficiency measures, innovations in technology, skilling the next generation are some examples of themes.
If you have a story ready to share you think is relevant to the strategy, email us and we will contact you for details.
Sharing successes encourages innovation and understanding of the critical role of water in our lives.
Find out more
- Find out about how we plan and manage our water resources.
- Find out about how we support water supply security for our urban communities.
- Find out about water markets and trading in Queensland.
- Read about infrastructure planning across the state.
- Mapping data tools and background information on bulk water opportunities.
- Explore the various ways we use science to develop, monitor, review and evaluate our water plans using our interactive storymap.
Last updated: 16 Oct 2023