Burdekin Haughton

Past review
Final report

The Burdekin Haughton water supply scheme is located near the town of Clare in northern Queensland.

The main infrastructure of the scheme, which has around 370 customers, consists of:

Burdekin Falls Dam – capacity of 1,860,000 ML

Gorge Weir – capacity of 9,095 ML

Blue Valley Weir – capacity of 3,820 ML

Clare Weir – capacity of 15,900 ML

Val Bird Weir – capacity of 615 ML

Giru Weir – capacity of 1.025 ML

A rich variety of crops is grown in the Burdekin area, including sugarcane and various fruit and vegetables. This scheme provides the water for irrigation of these crops.

In addition, water is supplied to Townsville and other small townships, and quarries and sugar mills in the area get their water through the scheme. The North and South Burdekin water boards rely on the scheme too: a significant quantity of the water from the Burdekin Falls Dam is released from Clare Weir and is directed to these two water boards to supplement groundwater supplies.

A number of pump stations on the Clare Weir divert water to the main channels such as the Haughton, Barratta and Elliot.

From there the water travels to the customers via various distribution systems.

The QCA’s recommended irrigation prices to apply to the Burdekin Haughton water supply scheme and water distribution scheme for the 2012–17 regulatory period are outlined in the Executive summary for each(see below) of our Final Report.

These recommendations were accepted by the Queensland Government, and the new price path came into effect on 1 July 2012.

This SunWater water scheme review forms part of the review that the QCA undertook in 2011–12 for the Queensland Government: the SunWater Irrigation Price Review 2012–17.

You can read more about the pricing review on our project home page.  You can also view the submissions for the water schemes that we received, the consultants’ reports and issues arising from face-to-face consultation with stakeholders.

We recommended a new irrigation price path, to apply from July 2012 to June 2017 – with prices moving in a direction that better reflect costs. For the majority of schemes, our recommended prices result in increases to fixed prices and reductions in usage prices.

The irrigation revenue earned by SunWater in some schemes does not cover the cost of operating and maintaining irrigation assets.  In these schemes, QCA could show the ‘cost-reflective’ price, but could only recommend prices that increased by up to $2/ML per year plus inflation.

The QCA’s recommended prices were accepted by the government.