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medium level water restrictions begin 1 november 2019

Medium level water restrictions adopted

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Goondiwindi region adopts medium level water restrictions

Goondiwindi Regional Council moved to adopt medium level water restrictions across the region in its meeting this morning.

The new restrictions will be effective from 1 November 2019 and will apply to all residents and businesses in Goondiwindi, Inglewood, Texas and Yelarbon who use Council’s town water supply. Council is currently assessing the water availability in the townships of Bungunya, Talwood and Toobeah, with a decision likely to be made at the next Council meeting.

As well as mandatory medium level water restrictions, Council also moved to introduce water usage targets for both residential and commercial users and all those who purchase bulk water from Council.

“We have witnessed the situation unfolding in the nearby Southern Downs and I believe we are about eight to nine months behind their situation,” Cr Scheu said today.

“If we don’t reduce our water usage now, we will be facing a major problem come the new year and moving to the final level of water restrictions will be inevitable if we don’t get rain.”

Mayor Graeme Scheu said the new restrictions show that Council is preparing for a worst-case scenario. He said that Council was exploring all options to ensure the long-term supply of drinking water to its residents and businesses – but that the region drastically needs to change its water usage habits in line with the current situation.

The Mayor also said he wanted to make it clear to commercial users of town water that water restrictions apply to them as well. Council may grant an exemption in special circumstances - businesses can apply for this by contacting Council.

“If we have to go to high level water restrictions, they are extreme and will not allow for hoses to be connected to taps, meaning no garden watering or car washing - similar to what has happened in Stanthorpe,” Cr Scheu said.

“So we want to delay that outcome as long as possible.”

The region’s new water conservation measures also include the introduction of water usage targets in line with each level of water restrictions. The medium level target is set at 250 litres per person, per day.

“For some residents, that will mean cutting their water usage by half to achieve this target,” the Mayor said.

The target for commercial businesses is a 10% reduction in usage per day.

The move to medium level restrictions comes as the Goondiwindi region continues to endure extremely low rainfall combined with some of the highest average maximum temperatures on record (January – August 2019, BOM). Cr Scheu said Council considered the Bureau of Meteorology’s long-term rainfall forecasts during its decision-making.

“We currently rely on water from dams and, simply put, we can’t keep using water as though it’s an infinite resource – our supplies are drastically limited and, until it rains, every drop we use is a drop we won’t get back.

“The New South Wales and Queensland Governments have done a remarkable job in supplying the recent release to the Boggabilla Weir, but it will not last forever and there is now no more water for additional releases.”

To prepare for the worst-case scenario that the region does not receive any more rain before the supply runs out, Council has commissioned a Drought Supply Plan to explore future supply options. Council has engaged the same consultants who recently completed a similar study for Southern Downs Regional Council.

“The Drought Supply Plan will identify all our available options like bores, blending and any dead storage supply and will assist Council in securing any funding we may need in this difficult period,” Cr Scheu explained. 

Council will be leading the way in its own water usage by reducing current watering practices and the Mayor will meet with several community groups in the coming weeks to work out how to best maintain local sporting facilities.

Council is currently arranging for a public awareness mail-out campaign to ensure all members of the community are fully informed of the new restrictions. It is also offering free four-minute shower timers to all residents to help them cut down on their own water usage.

“We are all in this together and will have to accept compromise for the good of all.”

  • View the full list of water restrictions on Council’s website:

https://www.grc.qld.gov.au/water-restrictions

 

For more information, please contact:
Councillor Graeme Scheu
Mayor
Goondiwindi Regional Council
Mobile: 0427 718 877
Email: mayor@grc.qld.gov.au

Published: October 23rd 2019