Pioneer River

Pioneer River

Scheme

Announced Allocations
High Priority A
100%
High Priority B
100%
Storages
Teemburra Dam
98.07%
Marian Weir
102.22%
Dumbleton Weir
101.43%
Water Pricing
Fees and Charges 2020-2021
Fees and Charges 2019-2020

Scheme information

About

The Pioneer River Scheme provides a reliable supply of water for urban, industrial and agricultural users around Mackay and neighbouring districts.

How the scheme works
  • The major storage of the scheme, Teemburra Dam, is comprised of a main dam and Saddle Dams 1 and 2, located 60km west of Mackay
  • The main dam regulates flows into Teemburra Creek, whereas Saddle Dam 2 supplies water into Palm Tree Creek pipeline. The pipline runs 1.8km and is about 180m lower in elevation than the reservoir full supply level
  • The primary outlet is located at Saddle Dam 2 and delivers water to the adjacent Cattle Creek Valley where the irrigation demand is located.
Water uses
  • Irrigation at Palm Creek and Cattle Creek
  • Urban water supply for Mackay and surrounding townships
  • Industrial

Scheme Management

The Pioneer River Water Supply Scheme Resource Operations Licence (ROL) published here requires Sunwater to operate in accordance with an operations manual that is approved by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. The operations manual states rules for the operation of infrastructure associated with the Pioneer River scheme as well as water sharing rules and seasonal water assignment (temporary trade) rules.

The Pioneer Water Supply Scheme ROL Operations Manual was issued in October 2019.

Sunwater aims to achieve the efficient delivery of water to customers in the Pioneer River scheme that best meets their needs.

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:

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, 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 Pioneer 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).

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2020/2021
High priority A: 100%
High priority B: 100%

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

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

For more information or enquiries, phone 13 15 89 or email customersupport@sunwater.com.au.

Teemburra Dam Water Level Classification

As required under s13(2)(c) of the Pioneer River WSS Operations Manual:

Teemburra Dam Storage LevelStage Effective Date
289.89m AHD11 July 2020
289.85m AHD11 August 2020
289.78m AHD11 September 2020
289.65m AHD11 October 2020
289.35m AHD11 November 2020
289.14m AHD1 1 December 2020
288.85m AHD11 January 2021
289.59m AHD1 1 February 2021
289.69m AHD11 March 2021
289.75m AHD11 April 2021
289.82m AHD11 May 2021
289.75m AHD1 1 June 2021

History of Announced Allocations
Pioneer 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 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.

Pioneer Bulk Supply

2022 Draft Service and Performance Plan

Download

Pioneer Bulk Supply

2021 Service and Performance Plan

Download
Pioneer Bulk Supply

2020 Network Service Plan

Download

Scheme history

Pioneer River at Marian Sugar Milly, Mackay District
Pioneer River at Marian Sugar Milly, Mackay District

Pioneer River Water Supply Scheme

The scheme supplies water for urban, industrial and agricultural users – mainly sugarcane growers – around Mackay.

It had its beginnings in the heart of the Pioneer Valley’s sugarcane industry at Marian, 24 km west of Mackay. In 1883, cane farmer David McEachran built a sugar mill and hired local girl Marian Smith to be a secretary. McEachran named the mill and its associated plantation after her, and subsequently the town that grew around it bears her name too.

Marian Smith’s name also lives on in the Marian Weir, built on the Pioneer River in 1952. The weir was the first building block of the scheme, which now includes Dumbleton Rocks Weir, added in 1982 and upgraded in 1993 and 1997, and Mirani Weir in 1987. The final piece to this sugar town story was Teemburra Dam, built on the creek of the same name in 1997.