The Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme was Queensland’s first major irrigation undertaking and was established by resolution of State Parliament in 1923. Construction of works within the Area commenced in 1924.

The first farms in the Theodore Section on the right bank of the Dawson River were opened in 1926 and landholders occupied their selections early in 1927. The first farms in the Gibber Gunyah Section on the left bank of the Dawson River were opened and occupied in 1957.

The Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme extends along the Dawson River from upstream of Theodore to downstream of Boolburra, north of the Capricorn Highway. It contains two channel systems – Theodore and Gibber Gunyah.

Uses of Water


Crops grown in the scheme include cotton, fodder, cereal and horticultural crops such as wheat, barley, oats, maize, mung beans, soybeans, sunflowers, sorghum and peanuts.

Urban Water Supplies

The scheme provides water for the towns of Theodore, Moura, Baralaba and Duaringa.


Coal mines and an ammonium nitrate plant in the Moura-Kianga area, and a gold mining venture at Cracow are also supplied from this scheme.

Major Storage

The scheme relies on a network of weirs along the Dawson River, including;

Theodore Weir Constructed in 1930
Orange Creek Weir Constructed in 1932
Moura Weir Constructed in 1946
Glebe Weir Constructed in 1971
Neville Hewitt Weir Constructed in 1976
Gyranda Weir Constructed in 1987

Glebe Beneficial Use Scheme

The Glebe Beneficial Use Scheme (GBUS) involves the use of coal seam gas (CSG) water that has been treated at the Northern Water Treatment Plant (NWTP). The overall scheme and pipeline component are managed by SunWater, while the treatment plant operation is owned by QGC.

The Glebe Beneficial Use Scheme involves the release of treated water into the Glebe Weir, mainly for use by irrigators. The release of treated water into Glebe Weir is regulated under the Beneficial Use Approval (BUA) (Specific Approval Number ENBU04254412), issued by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 20 August 2013, amended 2 July 2015.

Condition A26 of this approval requires SunWater to prepare and publish quarterly water quality monitoring data reports. These are available hereOpens a new window.

Channel/Pipeline System

The channel supply network is 56 kilometres in length. A drainage system, comprising 54 kilometres of open earth drains, is also in place. The Theodore Pumping Station, with three centrifugal pumps, and 2 pumps on Castle Creek supplies water to the channel system of the Theodore, while the Gibber Gunyah system is supplied by a separate pumping station comprising three pumps.