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High level water restrictions expected in new year, says Mayor

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Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Graeme Scheu would like to advise residents that water restrictions in the region will likely be bumped up to high level in the new year.

“We rely on SunWater, Qld Department of Natural Resources Mining and Energy and Water NSW for advice about what capacity is left in each of the storage systems and our decision will be informed by that information,” Cr Scheu said.

“We will continue to monitor that advice in relation to triggering high level restrictions, but by the looks of things it’s clear that some towns in the region will need to be on high restrictions in the new year.”

Council adopted its new Drought Management Plan in October. Under this plan, different trigger points are defined for the introduction of each level of water restriction. These trigger points are based on actual water levels and predicted supply.

The entire Goondiwindi region is currently on medium level water restrictions. Cr Scheu said today that, unless the region receives significant rainfall in its catchment areas, water levels will reach the trigger point for high level water restrictions and Council will have no choice but to introduce them.

“And it needs to be significant rainfall, or a series of significant rainfall events,” the Mayor said. “We’re a long way past the point of an inch or two getting us out of this situation.”

The Mayor also said that Council would consider each town in the region on a case-by-case basis due to the differing nature of their water supply.

“The way our region’s water supply works, it may well be that some towns have more supply than others. But this should be a clear warning for all, that without rain we all need to be doing our bit. Everyone should be trying now to conserve water as much as possible.”

The move to high level water restrictions would see a drastic cut to allowed watering practices, the Mayor confirmed. High level water restrictions in the region include a target water usage of 150 litres per person per day for domestic users and a 15% reduction for commercial users.

“High level means practically no outdoor or garden watering at all,” Cr Scheu said. “Absolutely no hoses or sprinklers will be allowed, and it will mean that bucket watering ONLY is allowed for a total of only two hours a week on allocated days.”

Council will discuss the introduction of high level restrictions in its final meeting for the year on 18 December. More information about the restrictions are available on Council’s website, visit https://www.grc.qld.gov.au/water-sewerage-plumbing/water-restrictions/1

Published: 9th December 2019