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Abstract

Irrigated agriculture is an important source of economic activity in the Fitzroy Basin. The issue of what water is still available for development in the basin and how it might be allocated between different interests groups in the region remains topical. The Water Allocation and Management Plan for the Fitzroy that has been drafted by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines caps overall water extraction from the basin, but allows further development to potentially occur in most of the sub-catchments. In this paper the options for allocating the water resources and the mechanisms by which they might be allocated are discussed. The values that society might have for reserving water resources from development are estimated from a Choice Modelling experiment, and compared to the net production costs available from different development options.

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