St George

St George


Announced Allocations
Medium Priority
Beardmore Dam
Jack Taylor Weir
Water Pricing
Fees and Charges 2021-2022
Fees and Charges 2020-2021
Fees and Charges 2019-2020

Scheme information


The St George Scheme draws its water from Jack Taylor Weir and Beardmore Dam, and provides irrigation, urban and industrial water supply to users in St George.

From 1 July 2018 Mallawa Irrigation took over ownership and management of the scheme. Sunwater continues to manage the bulk assets, including the dam. Please refer to the LMA website for further information.

How the scheme works
  • A network of channels and drains serves land on the left bank of the Balonne River, extending 32km south-east of St George
  • The channel system is supplied from Beardmore Dam, via Jack Taylor Weir, on the Balonne River and Moolabah Weir, and Buckinbah Weir on Thuraggi Watercourse
  • All supply channels are of open-earth construction with manually operated gravity flow control structures.
Water uses
  • Irrigation water for cotton, wheat, grapes, melons, peanuts and small crops
  • Urban water supply for St George
  • Industrial water supply primarily for abattoir use and tourist accommodation.

Scheme Management

The St George 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 St George scheme as well as water sharing rules and seasonal water assignment (temporary trade) rules.

The St George Water Supply Scheme ROL Operations Manual was issued in July 2018 with an amendment approved on 03 May 2019. A statement of changes to the operations manual can be found on the second page of this manual.

Sunwater aims to achieve the efficient delivery of water to customers in the St George 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 St George’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, 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 St George 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.

Standard messaging during Beardmore Dam outflows and flood events

As of September 11 2020, Sunwater has updated its Beardmore Dam flood event messaging and wishes to advise of the revised standard messaging that will be sent to customers and residents along the Balonne River, downstream of Beardmore Dam during future events.

These messages will be issued via SMS to downstream residents who have registered under Sunwater’s Emergency Notification Service here and existing Sunwater customers along the Balonne River.

Please view the updated messaging here and ensure your registration as a customer or downstream resident is up to date.

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).

St George’s Irrigator Advisory Committee

The St George 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
Glen RoganChairperson
Hamish McIntyreCommittee Member
Chad PrescottCommittee Member
Scott ArmstrongCommittee Member
Bill KnightsCommittee Member
Rob JakinsCommittee Member
Luke StowerCommittee Member
David MoonCommittee Member

Stay up to date with the St George Irrigator Advisory Committee.

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2021/2022
Medium priority: 42%

Announced Allocations effective 1 July 2021 and will be applicable until revised and communicated by Sunwater.

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
St George

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 2021

Operational Report

effective 1 April 2021

Operational Report

effective 1 February 2021

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2020

Operational Report

effective 1 April 2020

Operational Report

effective 1 March 2020


Operational Report

effective 1 September 2019


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.

St George Bulk Supply

2021-22 Draft Service and Performance Plan


St George Bulk Supply

2021 Service and Performance Plan

St George Bulk Supply

2020 Network Service Plan


Scheme news

End of water year newsletter



End of water year newsletters



Scheme history

Cotton bales of crops in the St George and southern region
Cotton bales of crops in the St George and southern region.
Image courtesy of Wayne Pratt Photography and Goondiwindi Regional Council

St George Water Supply Scheme

For about 15 years after it started in 1953, the scheme used water stored in the Jack Taylor Weir on the Balonne River and that was enough to supply town water for St George about 550 km west of Brisbane. It also served the irrigation needs of local farmers who were growing crops such as cotton, wheat, peanuts and grapes.

To meet the growing irrigated agriculture industry, a decision was made to expand the scheme by constructing the EJ Beardmore Dam, completed in 1972.

The scheme’s network of channels and drains serves land on the left bank of the Balonne River. They are supplied by the dam, Jack Taylor Weir and two other weirs — Moolabah and Buckinbah — on the Thuraggi Watercourse. All supply channels are of open-earth construction with manually operated gravity flow control structures.

Local Management Entity Mallawa Irrigation took over ownership and management of the channel distribution network in 2018 with Sunwater continuing to own and operate the bulk water assets, including Beardmore Dam and Jack Taylor Weir.