Water Plans and Resource Operations Licences are developed under the Water Act 2000 to sustainably manage and allocate water resources in Queensland.
Water Plans are developed for each area to balance the needs of water users and the environment:
- to define the availability of water in the plan area to provide a framework for sustainably managing water and the taking of water
- to identify priorities and mechanisms for dealing with future water requirements
- to provide a framework for establishing water allocations
- to provide a framework for reversing, where practicable, degradation in natural ecosystems.
Water in the Plan area is to be managed and allocated in a way that:
a. recognises the natural state of watercourses, lakes and springs has changes because of the taking of, and interfering with, water; and
b. achieves a balance in:
1. economic outcomes
2. social outcomes
3. ecological outcomes.
Economic outcomes include:
- provision for the use of water entitlements and other authorisations
- protection of the probability of being able to take water under a water allocation
- availability of water for growth in industries dependent on water resources and for stock purposes
- support of flexible and diverse water supply arrangements for users
- support for activities stated in the Water Regulations 2016 schedules
- maintenance of flows that support water-related economic activities (e.g. tourism)
- encouragement of continual improvement in efficient use of water.
Social outcomes include:
- increased security for town water supplies
- availability of water for population growth and domestic purposes
- maintenance of flows that support water-related aesthetic, cultural and recreational values
- maintenance, to the extent practicable, of the quality of water for human use.
Ecological outcomes include:
a. the continued capability of a part of the river system to be connected to another by maintaining flows that:
- allow for the movement of native aquatic fauna between riverine, floodplain, wetland, estuarine and marine environments;
- support water-related ecosystems
- support river farming processes
b. providing a flow regime that ensures;
- maintenance of freshwater to the Boyne River estuary
- maintenance of waterholes
- riffle habitats
- maintenance of estuarine ecosystem functions
c. minimisation of the impacts of taking water, on water-related ecosystems
d. protection and maintenance of refugia associated with waterholes, lakes and wetlands.
Resource Operations Licence;
A Resource Operations Licence (ROL) can only be granted within a water plan area. It is administered by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) (formerly Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME)) and is made up of the following 4 primary documents:
- Awoonga Water Supply Scheme Resource Operations Licence
- Awoonga Water Supply Scheme Operations Manual
- Boyne River Basin Water Management Protocol
- Water Plan (Boyne River Basin) 2013
An ROL is required to be held if you are the owner of water infrastructure within a water plan area and you intend to operate the infrastructure to distribute water. The licence provides GAWB the authorisation to interfere with the flow of water to the extent necessary to operate its water infrastructure and to take water from the Boyne River to distribute it under water allocations.
- Details of the water plan to which the licence relates
- The water infrastructure, such as dams and weirs, covered by the licence
- Any conditions that the holder of the licence must comply with, including operating arrangements and water supply requirements
- Any transitional arrangements that the holder of the licence requires until the requirements of the plan can be met.
GAWB are required to comply with the operating and supply conditions set out in the Licence and report on these routinely as per the administering authorities standards and guidelines.
GAWB currently undertake the following activities to address its ROL compliance conditions:
- an extensive ongoing water quality monitoring program
- an aquatic ecological monitoring program
- bank slumping and erosion monitoring
- operate and maintain a number of stream flow gauging stations, water level meters, flow meters, rain gauges and a weather station
- monitor and report on release and supply compliance
- report on infrastructure inspections and changes
- operational and emergency reporting
- Annual Reporting