Why do we need Water for life?

    The severity of the drought, combined with a rapidly increasing population and high water use, put enormous pressure on the region’s water supplies. Major dam levels were declining, and we were faced with serious challenges, so we had to change the way we view and manage water.

    The Millennium Drought taught us that we need to plan future water supply well in advance to prevent a crisis from developing.

    How does water currently work in South East Queensland?

    Most of our water comes from rainfall run-off that occurs over 1.2 million hectares of catchment land flowing into creeks, rivers and our dams. Water may then either flow or be pumped to a water treatment plant. A small amount of our water also comes from groundwater (from bores that draw from underground aquifers). The Gold Coast Desalination Plant also supplies the water grid, sourcing sea water from the Coral Sea to produce drinking water for South East Queensland.

    What is Water for life?

    Water for life starts the conversation about planning for our water future.

    Seqwater has released the Water Security Program – a blueprint for managing water over the next 30 years.

    The program was developed using extensive research, input from stakeholders including SEQ water service providers, and oversight from a panel of independent experts. 

    Our job now is to develop a more detailed version of Water Security Program that considers community feedback on the right water future for South East Queenslanders.

    What is a water future?

    There are dozens of variations of supply, demand and system operation choices that can be made to meet our water needs. No one option alone can meet South East Queensland’s long-term water security needs. Supply, demand and system operating options must be combined to meet the long-term needs of the region. Combinations of these options represent different water futures.

    How will this impact my local area?

    Research tells us that apart from a severe drought or a sharp increase in demand, we have enough water to supply our region for about 15 years. But after that, we will need new water sources to meet growing demand. Beyond 2030 and after upgrades to some of our existing water supply infrastructure, the area that is most vulnerable, is in the northern region of SEQ, because of population growth in that area and limited local bulk water supply sources. This is where we will need to take action first.

    What can we do now to secure our water?

    There are a number of phases that will occur as we plan our longer-term water futures. We know there are improvements we can make to existing infrastructure in the short-term that will delay major investment in new infrastructure. This includes constructing a new off-take from the Northern Pipeline Interconnector and reconfiguring the Aspley pump station to transport bulk water in a northerly direction from the Mount Crosby water treatment plants.

    What are the next steps?

    There is still much to do to achieve a secure water future. We will be seeking feedback from the community on the work we have already done in preparing the Water Security Program. We will also start planning for upgrades and improvements to our existing water supply infrastructure.