Nogoa Mackenzie and Emerald

Past review
Final report

The Nogoa Mackenzie water supply scheme is located near the town of Emerald.

The scheme has 351 bulk customers and incorporates the Emerald channel distribution system, which services 147 irrigators. The scheme supplies coal mines and various towns including Emerald and Blackwater.

The principal water storage is the Fairbairn Dam, an earth and rock fill clay-core dam, which can hold up 1,301,000ML.

Irrigation uses of water include: cotton, citrus and grapes, wheat, pulse crops, sorghum, maize, lucerne, oats, barley and sunflowers.

The Emerald distribution system consists of five pump stations, 126 km of channels and 144 km of drains.

It includes two sub-systems, Selma and Weemah, each fed by an outlet from Fairbairn Dam.

Irrigators in the distribution system hold 87,317ML of water entitlements.

The QCA’s recommended irrigation prices to apply to the Nogoa-Mackenzie bulk water supply scheme and Emerald Distribution system for the 2012-17 regulatory period were published in May 2012.  They are described in the Executive summary 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.