Indigenous water reserves

There are unallocated water reserves held in water plans across Queensland.

This water can be made available for projects that provide social and economic benefits to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

How we can make this water available

Each water plan has a water management protocol which can be reviewed and changed to allow Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders to hold unallocated water reserves.

Once updated, the water management protocol will describe the conditions for granting unallocated water, such as:

  • who can get a water entitlement (eligible people)
  • how the amount of water available can be shared
  • what social and economic opportunities this water can provide.

When can these changes happen?

We will generally review and change water management protocols at a time when the government needs to make large changes to the water plan as part of the water planning process.

Any changes will happen through consultation to include the views of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

Express your interest

Anyone who is interested in unallocated water can make an expression of interest at any time by emailing

An expression of interest may not mean that the water will be granted immediately but it will let us know if there is a demand for this water.

By telling us you’re interested, you can help us plan when we need to review and make changes to water plans and water management protocols.

For information on unallocated water in your area contact your local business centre or email