Fees and Charges
The Queensland Government sets the prices of irrigation water supplied by Sunwater, based on recommendations made by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).
The QCA has completed its investigation into irrigation water prices to apply to Sunwater’s irrigation customers from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024. Further information can be found on the ‘Water pricing review’ page here.
Irrigation prices for 2020-2021
To support Queensland farmers during the COVID-19 health crisis, irrigation water prices will remain the same or fall next year.
In recognition of current economic conditions, prices for 2020-2021 will be maintained at 2019-20 levels, except in areas where the QCA has recommended price decreases. In these cases, these price decreases will be applied.
The most recent Sunwater Rural Water Pricing Direction Notice (No.1) 2020 is cited in the Queensland Government gazette, found here or directly through the Queensland Government publications page, here. Please note, the direction notice starts on page 84 of the PDF (page 616 of the gazette).
A Queensland Government fact sheet regarding irrigation prices for 2020-21 is available here.
Irrigation prices for 2021–22 to 2023–24
From 2021–22 to 2023–24, every irrigator who buys water from Queensland’s state-owned irrigation schemes will automatically see the following price cuts on their water bill:
- a 50% cut for fruit and vegetable growers
- a 15% cut for all other irrigation.
This cut will be funded from $81.6 million allocated in the 2020-21 Queensland Budget for reducing the cost of irrigation for Queenslanders.
Implementation of these price cuts is underway and the Queensland Government will advise irrigation customers as soon as possible.
For further information regarding these price changes, visit the Queensland Government website.
There are two types of charges for irrigation; fixed (Part A and C) and volumetric tariffs (Part B and D).
Fixed tariffs are charged quarterly or six monthly in advance, according to the water allocation* held by the customer, regardless of the amount of water taken in the year.
Fixed tariffs are also known as Part A tariffs in bulk water supply schemes and Part C tariffs in distribution schemes. Bulk water scheme customers pay Part A and distribution scheme customers pay Part A and Part C fixed tariffs.
Volumetric tariffs are charged per megalitre of water taken by the customer, measured at the water meter or ‘offtake’.
Volumetric tariffs are also known as Part B tariffs in bulk water supply schemes and Part D tariffs in distribution schemes. Bulk water scheme customers pay Part B and distribution scheme customers pay Part B and Part D fixed tariffs.
Sunwater also charges some scheme-specific and administrative costs.
*A Water Allocation is a volume of water that entitles the holder/customer to a percentage of that water based on the available water in the scheme dams, weirs or barrages. The percentage of water allocation available to the customer can be as high as 100 per cent or as low as 0 per cent, depending on the level of water storages.
Water supply scheme fees and charges
Each year Sunwater releases an updated fees and charges schedule for each water supply scheme, detailing the charges set by Sunwater and those subject to the Rural Irrigation Water Pricing Direction. For information on the most recent fees and charges for a scheme, please refer below.