PURPOSE OF THE WATER PLAN (WP):
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.
GENERAL OUTCOMES OF THE WP:
Water 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.
1. ECONOMIC OUTCOMES OF THE WP
Economic outcomes include:
a. provision for the use of water entitlements and other authorisations
b. protection of the probability of being able to take water under a water allocation
c. availability of water for growth in industries dependent on water resources and stock purposes
d. support of flexible and diverse water supply arrangements for users
e. support for activities stated in the Water Regulations 2016 schedules
f. maintenance of flows that support water-related economic activities (e.g. tourism)
g. encouragement of continual improvement in efficient use of water.
2. SOCIAL OUTCOMES OF THE WP:
Social outcomes include:
a. increased security for town water supplies
b. availability of water for population growth and domestic purposes
c. maintenance of flows that support water-related aesthetic, cultural and recreational values
d. maintenance, to the extent practicable, of the quality of water for human use.
3. ECOLOGICAL OUTCOMES OF THE WP:
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.