The Southern Downs Regional Council will implement high level water restrictions if the region receives no significant rainfall in the coming weeks.

Based on the extremely dry conditions brought about by drought, current dam levels, and seasonal rainfall projections for the region, the Southern Downs will move from medium to high level water restrictions in early November. Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the community must play its part in helping reduce the region’s water consumption. “Until we get decent rain to replenish the dams and our water supply, we all need to be working together to reduce our usage,” Mayor Dobie said. “I’m asking everyone to be aware of what the tighter water restrictions mean and to assist in stretching our water reserves until we received much needed rain.”

High level water restrictions outline a maximum consumption target of 170 litres per person per day, or around 18 buckets per person per day. The restrictions will mean outdoor water use will be restricted to one hour on allocated days and the use of sprinklers and fixed irrigation systems will be prohibited. Mayor Dobie has highlighted that the Southern Downs region is currently using over its water consumption targets. ““Be mindful of your water usage, adhere to the restrictions and use water efficiently and responsibly both at home and at work,” she pleads. “Our water supplies are low, so we need to work together to conserve the precious water we have.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is currently predicting a drier and warmer than average spring which will likely intensify existing drought conditions. As of mid-September Leslie Dam was at 9.64 per cent capacity (10,243 ML), while Storm King was 69.7 per cent full (1519 ML) and Connelly Dam was at 66.5 per cent (1722ML) capacity.

Southern Downs Regional Council officers are patrolling the region in a bid to help educate the community on current water usage and to ensure residents are complying with restrictions. Council is also working with local businesses and industries which use large amounts of water to improve water efficiency and implement water saving initiatives.

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