Lower Mary River

Lower Mary River


Announced Allocations
High Priority
Medium Priority
Tinana Barrage
Water Pricing
Fees and Charges 2020-2021
Fees and Charges 2019-2020

Scheme information


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) published here. The ROL states the infrastructure details, environment release rules and all monitoring and reporting obligations required by Sunwater. The ROL also requires Sunwater to operate in accordance with an operations manual that is approved by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW). The operations manual states 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 aims to achieve the efficient delivery of water to customers in the Lower Mary River scheme that best meets their needs.  To manage this 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

The Lower Mary River Irrigator Advisory Committee is a group of irrigators within the scheme that have been elected by irrigation customers to represent their interests in relation to scheme operations and water supply issues and improvements with Sunwater.

The committee:

  • provides advice and recommendations to Sunwater regarding scheme operational issues
  • represents the interests of the broader irrigator base in respect of Sunwater’s ongoing operation of the water supply scheme
  • provides a mechanism for Sunwater and its customers to raise and discuss matters of mutual interest in relation to the management of the physical aspects of the scheme and customer relationship issues.
  • work collaboratively with Sunwater to identify and introduce new approaches and improvements to water management.
Committee members
NamePositionRepresentative Area/Section
Allen BirtChairpersonSection 4 – Tinana Barrage/Teddington Weir Storage
VacantCommittee MemberSection 1 – Main Roads Pipeline System
Des MorrisCommittee MemberSection 2 – Walker Point System
Norm MullerCommittee MemberSection 2 – Walker Point System
Chris NitshinskCommittee MemberSection 3 – Copenhagen Bend Pipeline System
VacantCommittee MemberSection 5 – Mary River Barrage Storage
Trevor CrookCommittee MemberMaryborough Sugar Factory
Trevor TurnerSecretaryMaryborough Canegrower’s Association

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

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2020/2021
High  priority: 100%
Medium priority: 100%

Announced Allocations effective 1 July 2020 and will be applicable until 30 June 2021.


The Mary Basin Resource Operations Plan (ROP) defines the water sharing rules by which Sunwater is obligated to operate the Lower Mary River Water Supply Scheme. The ROP 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 customersupport@sunwater.com.au.

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

History of Announced Allocations
Lower Mary River

AA history

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 2020

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2019


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

2022 Draft Service and Performance Plan

Lower Mary Bulk Supply

2021 Service and Performance Plan

Lower Mary Bulk Supply

2020 Network Service Plan


Lower Mary Distribution

Lower Mary Distribution

2022 Draft Service and Performance Plan

Lower Mary Distribution

2021 Service and Performance Plan

Lower Mary Distribution

2020 Network Service Plan


Scheme news

EOWY Newsletter



Medium Priority Prohibition of Take

Information Sheet

EOWY Newsletter



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.