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Water restriction targets for South East Queensland’s water security

Water security for South East Queensland (SEQ) is about ensuring that there is adequate water supply to meet the needs of the community over the long term, including drought. At the same time, however, costs must be managed so that water remains affordable. In particular, it is important to ensure that we do not over-invest in the bulk water supply system with upgrades or building infrastructure before it is required.

The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water proposes to amend section 80 of the Water Regulation 2016 which specifies the anticipated duration of water restrictions in SEQ. This proposed change would apply to the whole of the SEQ region. The proposed change aims to better reflect the way that the major SEQ sources of supply behave during drought–tending to be infrequent but long in duration.

The Water Act 2000 requires that level of service (LOS) objectives are prescribed in legislation for the whole of the SEQ region. The LOS objectives outline the level of performance that can be expected from SEQ’s water supplies, and provide an indication of the volume of water that can be supplied reliably in terms of the frequency, severity and duration of restrictions.

More information about the LOS objectives for SEQ, and about the proposed amendment can be found in the information paper: Water restrictions in South East Queensland. 

The proposed desired LOS objective is as follows:

The SEQ Water Grid is to be able to supply enough water so that:

   a. total duration of medium level water restrictions, and water restrictions of a greater severity, will not last longer than 5 per cent of the time on average

   b. medium level water restrictions on residential water use will not restrict the average water use for the SEQ region to less than 140 litres for each person for each day

   c. medium level water restrictions will not happen more than once every 10 years on average.

Low level water restrictions may be imposed before medium level water restrictions.

We encourage SEQ water users to read the information paper and have their say on the proposed amendment (any person or entity can make a submission). This notice about the proposed amendment to the Water Regulation 2016 is made in accordance with section 345 of the Water Act 2000.  All properly made submissions will be considered prior to any amendment being made to the Water Regulation 2016 (in accordance with sections 344 and 346 of the Water Act 2000).

Community support for the LOS objectives is important because the success of water restriction measures is dependent on this support. 

For any questions, please email For more information visit the links below.

    Answer an online survey

    • Have your say on the expected water restriction duration for SEQ

      We are seeking your feedback on proposed changes to the expected duration of water restrictions in South East Queensland (SEQ) (specified in section 80 of the Water Regulation 2016).

      It is proposed to change the level of service objective from:

      • medium level water restrictions to last no longer than one year on average


      • medium level, and restrictions of greater severity, to last no longer than 5 per cent of the time on average.

      The proposed amendment is to enable Seqwater to plan for water restrictions of medium level and greater severity to occur not more than 5 per cent of the time on average. For example, water restrictions (medium level or more severe) could be in place for two years in total over a 40 year period. The proposed objective recognises that the impacts of droughts are generally longer than one year in SEQ, particularly as the impacts of climate change increase. maintaining the current level of service objective for medium level water restrictions is likely to drive an increase in the bulk water price for SEQ water customers by driving the need for infrastructure sooner than would otherwise be required.

      Your answers to the survey will be treated as a formal submission about the proposed change to the level of service objectives. You are strongly encouraged to read the information paper before completing the survey. The information paper contains all the information on the proposed changes to the water restrictions level of service objective.

      These questions are open-ended, giving you the freedom to express your views on the topic. It would be appreciated if you could also provide reasons for your answers. Depending on the depth of your responses, the survey may only take a few minutes. You can always save your draft and finish it later.

      Please note: There is a 45-minute time limit for completing the survey from the time you start filling it out. After 45 minutes if you have not saved your submission, your responses will be removed. To save your response, click the 'finish later' button (within the 45-minute time limit)—but make sure you save your ID key, so you can complete your response.

      When you have completed the survey—click the save button to submit your response.

    Written submissions

    Written submissions can be made from 1 June to 9 July 2021:

    • via the survey on the Get Involved website
    • email to:
    • mail: Director, Urban Water Supply Planning
      PO Box 15216
      City East QLD 4002

    Submissions close at 5:00 pm Friday 9 July 2021.

    Comment now


    Submit your response now. Closes 9 July 2021, 05.00pm.

    Contact details

    Last updated
     1 June 2021

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