1.5.1 Current water accounts


The Galilee subregion contains the headwaters of six major river basins including the Cooper, Diamantina, Flinders, Burdekin, Fitzroy and Warrego. Of these six river basins, potential coal and coal seam gas resource developments may occur in the Cooper, Flinders and Burdekin river basins. This product summarises water accounts for these three river basins. The surface water resources in the Cooper creek basin have not yet been affected by diversion or major dams and the information on total surface water yield is currently not available. Currently, there are about 50 nominal entitlements as either ‘basic right’ or ‘water access right’ amounting to 19.8 GL/year of water for the stream network across the Cooper creek basin. Surface water in the Flinders river basin is also unaffected by diversion or dams. The approximate surface water availability for the basin is 2500 GL/year and the current allocation is less than 2% compared to median annual streamflow. There are 20 nominal entitlements as water access right amounting to 57 GL. In contrast to Cooper and Flinders river basins, streamflows in the Burdekin are highly regulated especially in the downstream part of the basin. There are about 18 nominal entitlements totalling 2.5 GL/year for the stream network located within the Galilee subregion.

A water licence is required for a groundwater bore only under certain regulatory conditions. While groundwater usage may be metered as part of water licensing conditions, actual groundwater usage data are not readily available for groundwater bores in the Galilee subregion. Of the 4712 groundwater bores that are currently in use across the Galilee subregion, only 2281 bores have water licences allocated to them. In total, some 19 GL/year of groundwater are allocated across the subregion as part of a licencing arrangement.

Summarising water licence allocations underestimates the amount of groundwater used in the Galilee subregion as many bores do not have an associated water licence. Some guidelines for the estimation of groundwater usage are outlined in this product. Using these guidelines, it is estimated that for the Galilee subregion some 75 GL/year are drawn from 4712 bores. The largest estimated withdrawals occur from the Hutton-Precipice aquifer system, which comprise a part of the Great Artesian Basin. Notably a significant number of bores have insufficient data to be able to determine which aquifer the groundwater was being drawn from. The most significant current purpose for groundwater use is stock and/or domestic purposes.

Groundwater withdrawals by proposed resource developments are not included in the estimate, as the water licensing requirements are yet to be finalised by the Queensland Government.

Last updated:
5 January 2018