Regional Water Assessment Program

The Regional Water Assessment (RWA) program builds on previous water investigations in each region to better understand local water needs now and in the future. It identifies opportunities for economic growth through investment in water.

We work with local stakeholders to identify all potential ways to meet future water needs. We analyse the options available to meet those needs. This could include new or improved dams, weirs or other structures. Non infrastructure options might include releasing some unallocated water or changing water management arrangements  . In some cases, this may be across local government and catchment boundaries.

Once complete, the assessments set out future actions for implementation over time, aimed at maximising water supply or water security in the region.


Local knowledge is essential to getting the best results.

The assessment process involves extensive ongoing consultation with local governments, industry and peak body representatives, and other relevant entities. We also meet with and listen to local Traditional Owner and Native Title holder representatives.

There are multiple opportunities for stakeholders to get involved and contribute though sharing knowledge, stories and values.

Each assessment is supported by a stakeholder advisory group which provides high level advice and feedback and serves as a conduit to organisations or communities. As necessary, working groups also provide more technical advice and feedback.

We will notify the community about public consultation on draft assessments for each region.

Each RWA takes about 2 years to complete, but this can be longer if dealing with complex issues.

Regional water assessment areas

The following areas are some of the state’s most significant growth areas. They have the best potential to achieve greater regional economic development through investment in water.

  • Preparatory activities have begun, including an inaugural stakeholder advisory group meeting anticipated around mid-2024.

    View a map of the Gulf assessment area (PDF, 769.4KB).

  • Assessment activities are now under way after an inaugural stakeholder advisory group meeting on 21 February 2024.

    View a map of the Central Queensland assessment area (PDF, 654.6KB).

  • Assessment activities are now under way after an inaugural stakeholder advisory group meeting on 12 October 2023.

    View a map of the Burdekin assessment area (PDF, 557.8KB).

  • The final assessment has been prepared for Queensland Government consideration.

    View a map of the Southern and Darling Downs assessment area (PDF, 775.7KB)

    Stakeholder advisory group consultation included:

    • AgForce Queensland
    • Border Rivers Commission
    • Border Rivers Food and Fibre
    • Cotton Australia (Queensland)
    • Goondiwindi Regional Council
    • National Water Grid Authority
    • Queensland Farmers Federation
    • Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers
    • Regional Development Australia (Darling Downs and South West)
    • Seqwater
    • Southern Downs Regional Council
    • Stanthorpe Community Reference Panel
    • Sunwater
    • Toowoomba Regional Council
    • Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise
    • Western Downs Regional Council.
  • The final assessment has been prepared for Queensland Government consideration.

    View a map of the Bundaberg and Burnett assessment area (PDF, 718.7KB).

    Stakeholder advisory group consultation included:

    • AgForce Queensland
    • Australian Macadamia Society
    • Avocados Australia
    • Bundaberg Ag-Food and Fibre Alliance
    • Bundaberg Canegrowers Ltd
    • Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers
    • Bundaberg Regional Council
    • Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation
    • Canegrowers Isis
    • Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
    • Citrus Australia
    • EastAUS Milk
    • North Burnett Regional Council
    • Queensland Farmers Federation
    • Queensland Resources Council
    • Regional Development Australia (Wide Bay)
    • South Burnett Regional Council.
  • The final assessment has been prepared for Queensland Government consideration.

    View a map of the Tablelands assessment area (PDF, 759.3KB).

    Stakeholder advisory group consultation included:

    • Advance Cairns
    • AgForce Queensland
    • Cairns Regional Council
    • Mareeba Shire Council
    • Queensland Farmers Federation
    • Regional Development Australia Tropical North
    • Sunwater
    • Tablelands Regional Council
    • Tinaroo Water Committee
  • The South East Queensland Agriculture Regional Water Assessment (SEQ Agriculture RWA) started in January 2024.

    View a map of the South East Queensland assessment area (PDF, 585.0KB).

    It will look specifically into the water security options for the agricultural sector in South-East Queensland with the aim of improving reliability of food supply.

    The assessment will start with a review of existing information and will focus on 4 main elements:

    • improvement in the understanding of current water use by the agriculture sector
    • identifying and reviewing alternative sources of sustainable water supply (for example, water reuse opportunities)
    • identifying new dams, weirs or other structures (infrastructure) needed to support the agricultural sector to improve reliable access to water
    • opportunities to better use existing urban water infrastructure to support current and emerging agriculture industry in the region.

    The SEQ Agriculture RWA is an agricultural focused RWA and does not focus on residential or other industry water demands. It is a Queensland Government commitment as part of the SEQ City Deal, a partnership by the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Council of Mayors for South-East Queensland.

    Public consultation will give all interested people and groups the opportunity to provide feedback on the assessment findings before a final report of recommendations is delivered.

More information

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Last updated: 19 Apr 2024