Proserpine River

Proserpine River


Announced Allocations
High Priority
Medium Priority A1
Medium Priority A2
Medium Priority A3
Water Pricing
Read more about your scheme’s Fees and Charges

Scheme information


The Proserpine River Scheme is located near the sugar-growing areas of Proserpine and the rapidly growing Whitsunday coastal resorts, and provides urban water supplies for the area and water supplies for irrigation.

How the scheme works
  • Peter Faust Dam is situated on the Proserpine River and consists of a zoned earth and rockfill embankment, a concrete-lined spillway and a concrete diversion outlet works, including inlet tower and valve house.
Water uses
  • Irrigation water primarily for sugar cane
  • Urban water supply for the Whitsundays and Bowen, and Pioneer shires for the towns of Bowen, Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Midge Point
  • Industrial water supply for sugar milling.

Scheme Management

Sunwater must comply with the conditions set out in the Proserpine River Water Supply Scheme Resource Operations Licence (ROL), issued to Sunwater in December 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 Proserpine River scheme as well as water sharing rules and seasonal water assignment (temporary trade) rules.

The Proserpine River Water Supply Scheme ROL Operations Manual was issued in January 2022.

Sunwater focuses our resources towards timely and cost-efficient delivery of water to customers in the Proserpine Dam 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:

  • Sunwater Online
  • Sunwater Customer App
  • Phone customer support on 13 15 89 Monday - Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Phone Water Ordering System (Interactive Voice Response - IVR) by calling 13 15 89

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

Delivery timing

Orders are processed on a daily basis at 6:30am. Orders received after this time cannot be processed until the following day. Please make allowance for these times when placing your order.

The travel time, the number of hours/days it takes from the morning after the order is placed to get water from the dam or weirs to your pump, is:

Proserpine River Scheme Area Travel time after order is placed
Bowen Crossing1 Day
Spruces Crossing2 Days
Reads Rd Crossing3 Days
Whitsunday Shire’s pumps4 Days
Bruce Highway5 Days
Myrtle Ck7 Days
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 Proserpine 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).

Proserpine River’s Irrigator Advisory Committee

The Proserpine 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
Glenn ClarkeChairperson
Mark OrrCommittee Member
John TelfordCommittee Member
Dave PrattCommittee Member
Andrew PiniCommittee Member
John MauCommittee Member
Bill AtkinsonCommittee Member
Mark BlairCommittee Member
Doug LeeCommittee Member
Peter MullerCommittee Member
Patrick GriffithsCanegrowers Representative

Stay up to date with the Proserpine River Irrigator Advisory Committee.

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2023/2024
High priority: 100%
Medium priority A1: 100%
Medium priority A2: 90%
Medium priority A3: 75%

Announced Allocations effective 1 July 2023 and will be applicable until revised and communicated by Sunwater. 

2022/2023 to 2023/2024 Carryover Parameters – Cap 15,719 ML with 45.97% pro rata and 10% loss factor. For more information about the scheme’s carryover conditions click here.

Carryover Methodology

Maximum Volume of Carryover = 25% of the total nominal volume for the scheme.

Maximum volume of water that may be carried over by a water user must not be more than 90% of their remaining volume at the end of the water year.

(Water User remaining volume x 90%) x 65.13% x 90%

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

History of Announced Allocations
Proserpine 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 2023

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2022

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2021


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.

We have updated the naming convention for S&PPs to improve clarity and alignment with plan content. The new convention references the year in which the S&PP is published (or should have been published). Publication should occur within six months of the end of a financial year.

For further information about this service, please visit the Service and Performance Plan page

Proserpine Bulk Supply

2023 Service and Performance Plan

Proserpine Bulk Supply

2021 Service and Performance Plan (originally published as the 2023 Service and Performance Plan)

Proserpine Bulk Supply

2020 Service and Performance Plan (originally published as the 2022 Service and Performance Plan)


Scheme news

End of water year newsletter


End of water year newsletter


End of water year newsletter


End of water year newsletter


Customer update – changes to customer water ordering

November 2020


Scheme history

Peter Faust Dam
Peter Faust Dam

Proserpine Water Supply Scheme

When the explorer George Dalrymple passed through the region north of Mackay in 1859, he named the whole area Proserpina, the Roman name for the Greek goddess of fertility, Persephone.

Today Proserpine, about 100 km north of Mackay and known as the gateway to the Whitsundays, is at the heart of a region known for its sugar and cattle production.

The scheme, centred around the Peter Faust Dam on the Proserpine River 22 km west of the town, supplies water for sugarcane irrigation and urban water to the townships of Bowen, Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Midge Point.