Critical water restrictions to come

Leslie Dam from the air earlier this month. Photo - Garry Wilkinson Photography

The Southern Downs Regional Council has announced “critical water level restrictions” of 100 litres per person per day will be introduced on Sunday 1 September “as severe drought conditions and no rainfall continue to significantly impact the region’s water supplies”.

In a statement released today – Thursday 25 July – the council said councillors voted at yesterday’s General Meeting to introduce the further restrictions at the beginning of September “to allow the community time to prepare for the change in consumption requirements ahead of potential emergency restrictions should severe drought conditions continue”.

“The new restrictions will apply to all residents, including rural residents who purchase water from Southern Downs Regional Council,” the statement said.

Mayor Tracy Dobie said that while water consumption had dropped since extreme water restrictions came into effect in March, the prolonging drought and no rainfall have prompted the necessary move to critical water level restrictions.

“The Council has not made the decision to move to critical water level restrictions lightly,” Cr Dobie said.

“As a Local Government we are responsible, first and foremost, for continuing to manage and provide water to residents who are connected to the urban water supply, and to provide support for rural resident who need to buy urban water for domestic purposes.

“Councillors are very aware of how the restrictions are impacting the liveability of residents in their homes.

“Businesses too are severely impacted and we want to work with business owners to achieve water reductions that are applicable for their business.

“There are resources available to residents to assist them manage water such as the water tank rebate and the showerhead exchange program.

“Council has also undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure water remains in the dams for as long as possible including leak detection and repairs.

“Leak detection and any necessary repairs have already been undertaken throughout Stanthorpe, Dalveen and Wallangarra. Leak contractors are currently in Warwick checking for leaks.

“Leslie Dam is currently at 6.32 per cent capacity while Storm King is at 26.7 per cent and Connolly Dam is 36.5 per cent full.

“Predicted run out dates for water are based on lower consumption and residential households meeting current water restrictions.

“Residents are encouraged to visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au for up to date information on water supply and storage

“Information is updated each Monday.

“The site also includes a water usage calculator. Ideally residents should read their meter at the same time each week to calculate and monitor their water usage.”

Questions regarding the water restrictions can be emailed to drought@sdrc.qld.gov.au.

Water supply and storage Q&A’s…

Stanthorpe: 5.30pm, Wednesday 7 August, Stanthorpe Civic Centre Supper Room (to be confirmed)

Warwick: 5.30pm, Monday 12 August, Warwick Town Hall (to be confirmed)

KEY POINTS…

The Southern Downs region will move to critical level water restrictions as of 1 September 2019.

• Critical level water restrictions will reduce residential water usage to 100 litres per person per day.

• The new restrictions will apply to all residents, including rural residents who purchase water from Southern Downs Regional Council.

• Resources are available to residents to assist them manage water usage such as the water tank rebate and the showerhead exchange program.

• Residents are encouraged to visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au for up to date information on water supply and storage. Information is updated each Monday. The site also includes a water usage calculator. Ideally residents should read their meter at the same time each week to calculate and monitor their water usage.

• Council has also undertaken a number of initiatives such as leak detection and repairs to ensure that water remains in the dams for as long as possible. Leak detection and any necessary repairs have already been undertaken throughout Stanthorpe, Dalveen and Wallangarra. Leak detection contractors are currently in Warwick checking for leaks.

• As a local government, first and foremost, Council is responsible for providing and managing water for residents connected to the reticulated water supply.

• Southern Downs Regional Council is currently working with local businesses, sporting clubs and community groups to help them reduce their water consumption and conserve water.

• Under critical water restrictions, businesses will be targeted to reduce water consumption by a further 10%. This is in addition to the 30% reduction under extreme water restrictions. To date, Warwick businesses had reduced consumption by 28% and Stanthorpe 26%.

• Businesses should conduct a water audit using the online checklist at www.sdrc.qld.gov.au

• Everyone in the community needs to be vigilant about their water usage and take steps to significantly reduce their water consumption. The water we save now is critical to how resilient the community will be to the drought if it continues – the more water we can save now the better.

• Questions regarding the water restrictions can be emailed to drought@sdrc.qld.gov.au.

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