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From 1 January 2013, the Queensland Water Commission ceased operations.

The Queensland Water Commission provided independent policy advice to Government on South East Queensland regional water security, demand and supply options.

Its policy functions moved to the Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) and its planning and regulatory functions (including setting water restrictions) are now the responsibility of the new bulk water supply authority, SEQwater, and the SEQ council water businesses (distributor-retailers).

Water restrictions and efficiency management plans

The last remaining water restrictions in South East Queensland (SEQ) were lifted on 1 January 2013.

The government, together with SEQwater and the SEQ Council water businesses will consider and develop a new long-term restriction framework and consult with the SEQ community.

The requirement for water efficiency management plans (WEMPs) for large water-using businesses was also lifted on 1 January 2013. However, water service providers will contact businesses directly about any changes or local requirements.

The amended Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 allows SEQ water service providers to impose restrictions or require WEMPs where they consider these necessary.

The water savings targets for new houses and commercial and industrial buildings, which included rainwater tanks, have been reviewed. Changes to the water savings targets in Queensland Development Code MP4.2 and 4.3 are expected in 2013. More information about water saving targets can be found on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Water security

From 1 January 2013 SEQwater is responsible for the operation of all bulk water infrastructure.

SEQwater will be required to develop a water security program for SEQ. The desired levels of service will be set out in the System Operating Plan (SOP) Version 5. SOP version 5 will continue to apply until a regulation is made prescribing the revised desired levels of service.

The SEQ water market and market rules / Bulk Water Supply Code

The Bulk Water Supply Code regulates the supply of bulk services such as the supply of water and water services from 1 January 2013. The Bulk Water Supply Code was made by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply under section 360M of the Water Act 2000. The Code replaces the SEQ water market rules.