Lower Mary River

Lower Mary River

Scheme

Announced Allocations
High Priority
100%
Medium Priority
100%
Storages
Water Pricing
Fees and Charges 2022-2023
Fees and Charges 2021-2022
Fees and Charges 2020-2021
Fees and Charges 2019-2020

Scheme information

About

The Lower Mary River Scheme is located downstream of Tiaro along the Mary River, and downstream of Teddington Weir on Tinana Creek. The Scheme supports irrigation and industrial users.

How the scheme works
  • More than 50km of channel and pipeline distribute supplies to around 192 customer offtakes
  • The scheme consists of 4 pump stations which divert water from the Mary River Barrage, Owanyilla Main Channel and Tinana Barrage to the channel and pipeline network.
Water uses
  • Irrigation water mainly for farming, and horticultural and agricultural production
  • Industrial.

Scheme Management

Sunwater must comply with the conditions set out in the Lower Mary River Water Supply Scheme Resource Operations Licence (ROL), issued to Sunwater in September 2011 by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW). The ROL outlines the infrastructure details, environmental release rules and all Sunwater’s monitoring and reporting obligations. The ROL also requires Sunwater to operate in accordance with an operations manual that is approved by DRDMW. The operations manual outlines rules for the operation of infrastructure associated with the Lower Mary River scheme as well as water sharing rules and seasonal water assignment (temporary trade) rules.

The Lower Mary River Water Supply Scheme ROL Operations Manual was issued in April 2021.

Sunwater focuses our resources towards timely and cost-efficient delivery of water to customers in the Lower Mary River scheme. We collaborate with our customers to ensure we understand their needs, adapt quickly to changes in the environment and make the most of the available water supply. To best manage water delivery, arrangements for taking of water within the Scheme have been developed in consultation with its Irrigator Advisory Committee.

Taking water from the scheme

The water ordering system assists Sunwater in delivering water to its customers in an efficient and timely way, enabling them to plan and manage their water use.

Before taking any water, customers should place a water order so that Sunwater can release sufficient water and minimise losses.

Customers who take water without ordering may reduce Sunwater’s ability to supply customers who have ordered according to the above requirements.

To place an order

Customers can place their orders via:

Further information about ordering water is detailed in Lower Mary River’s Rules and Targets.

Stopping or restricting supply

Sunwater may suspend or restrict supply in a number of circumstances, including:

  • during maintenance of Sunwater’s assets
  • during a peak demand period, when rosters or rations may apply
  • when the demand for water is so small it is impractical to supply it
  • when there is a need to make special releases to maximise efficiency at times of limited supply
  • during rain shutdown
  • infrastructure limitations which make delivery impractical
  • if supply could cause Sunwater to break the law
  • when operating under special notices or regulations issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines {e.g. Water Amendment Regulation (No.3) 2006}.
Weather events and emergency shutdowns

Sunwater asks that customers notify their duty Water Officer [Link to contacts page], as soon as possible, of any rain event or other circumstances that substantially lessens their water requirements. When wide spread general rain exceeds 40 mm in a day over the Lower Mary River Water Supply Scheme, the duty Water Officer may shut the system down.

Customers are also asked to cancel orders if they no longer require ordered water.

For more information contact

If you experience an equipment or power failure emergency, please give immediate notice to Sunwater by calling Sunwater Customer Support on 13 15 89 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Lower Mary River’s Irrigator Advisory Committee

Sunwater is committed to open and transparent communication and collaboration with our customers. The role of the Lower Mary Customer Advisory Committee (CAC) is to provide customers and stakeholders with a diverse forum for collaboration and consultation with Sunwater on a range of strategic matters relating to Sunwater’s innovation, management, and maintenance of assets to ensure the reliable and efficient delivery of service.

The primary purpose of the CAC is to:

  • Engage with customers to identify current and future water needs.
  • Provide a transparent view of Sunwater’s operating environment and assets, and how these influence our services to customers.
  • Build an understanding of our customer’s businesses to ensure future plans are considered in Sunwater’s strategic and operations planning.

The membership and functioning of Customer Advisory Committees are governed by the Terms of Reference (ToR) document.

Committee members
NamePosition
Darren LargeSunwater Chair
Andrew AdamsCommittee Member
Adam DoyleCommittee Member
Scott Gregson-AllcottCommittee Member
Scott MaxwellCommittee Member
Norman MullerCommittee Member
Scott RoxburghCommittee Member
Scott ScrutonCommittee Member
Lane StoneCommittee Member

Stay up to date with the Lower Mary River Customer Advisory Committee.

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2022/2023
High  priority: 100%
Medium priority: 100%

Announced Allocations effective 1 July 2022 and applicable until revised and communicated by Sunwater.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING WATER AVAILABILITY

The Lower Mary Water Supply Scheme Operations Manual defines the water sharing rules by which Sunwater is obligated to operate the Lower Mary River Water Supply Scheme. It states that water supplied from the Mary Barrage to medium priority water allocations for irrigation use must cease when the water level in Mary Barrage on the Mary River is equal to or less than EL 1.0mAHD.

The cessation to taking water for irrigation use under medium priority water allocations continues until the water level in the impoundment of the Mary Barrage on the Mary River is equal to or greater than EL 1.2mAHD.

Details on the Medium Priority prohibition of take can be found here.

Lower Mary River Interim Program

More detailed information on the Interim Program can be found here.

For more information or enquiries, phone 13 15 89 or email [email protected]

Customers are advised to obtain information about their remaining water allocation balance by accessing SunwaterOnline.

History of Announced Allocations
Lower Mary River

AA history

Download
Operational reports

Sunwater releases periodic operational reports detailing Announced Allocation levels and individual storages’ breakdowns within each scheme, the latest of which can be found below.

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2022

Download
Operational Report

effective 1 July 2021

Download
Operational Report

effective 1 July 2020

Download
Operational Report

effective 1 July 2019

Download

Service and Performance Plans

Sunwater prepares an annual Service and Performance Plan (S&PP) for each irrigation service contract area. S&PPs replace the former annual Network Service Plans and annual Performance Reports.
For further information about this service, please visit the Service and Performance Plan page.

Lower Mary Bulk Supply

Lower Mary Bulk Supply

2023 Service and Performance Plan

Download
Lower Mary Bulk Supply

2022 Service and Performance Plan

Download
Lower Mary Bulk Supply

2021 Service and Performance Plan

Download

Lower Mary Distribution

Lower Mary Distribution

2023 Service and Performance Plan

Download
Lower Mary Distribution

2022 Service and Performance Plan

Download
Lower Mary Distribution

2021 Service and Performance Plan

Download

Scheme news

End of water year newsletter

2021-2022

Download
End of water year newsletter

2020-2021

Download
End of water year newsletter

2019-2020

Download
Medium Priority Prohibition of Take

Information Sheet

Download

Interruption to water supply notices

Interruption to water supply – Walker Point and Copenhagen annual shutdown

August 2022

Download
Interruption to water supply – Owanyilla and Main Roads annual shutdown

August 2022

Download
Interruption to water supply – Owanyilla and Main Roads planned shutdown

July 2021

Download
Interruption to water supply – Walker Point and Copenhagen planned shutdown

July 2021

Download

Scheme history

Macadamia nut farm
Water supply supports a variety of local crops including macadamia nuts

Lower Mary Water Supply Scheme

Featuring more than 50 km of channel and pipeline, the scheme supplies nearly 200 customers, mainly farmers who produce sugar cane, fruit and vegetables, beef and pork, macadamia nuts and dairy.

The water is sourced from the Mary River Barrage and the Tinana Barrage on Tinana Creek. The two are linked by the Owanyilla Diversion Channel so water can be diverted to the Tinana storage from the Mary River if required.

The scheme started operation in 1988 and is an example of how Sunwater works collaboratively with other organisations to underpin the prosperity of Queenslanders.

The major water authority in the region is Wide Bay Water, which operates the Teddington Weir Water Supply Scheme on Tinana Creek upstream from the Tinana barrage, supplying Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Tiaro. When required, Sunwater can divert water from its scheme to Teddington Weir via a 2.5 km pipeline at the end of the Owanyilla Diversion Channel.