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Extreme water restrictions here to stay as dam levels continue to drop

2 May 2019

The Southern Downs will remain on extreme level water restrictions with Council resolving to reduce the limit on water being purchased from the region’s standpipes to 2000 litres per week.

Rural residents accessing drinking standard water from the Stanthorpe and Warwick standpipes will now be limited to purchasing a maximum of 2000 litres per week for any individual residential address in the Southern Downs. Water can be purchased with a single or multiple collections with access to standpipes to occur between 8am and 3pm.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said Council will continue to review access to the region’s urban water supply from standpipes.

“As a local government our priority, our first obligation, is to continue to supply drinking standard water to residents connected to the reticulated water supply and we will continue to do so,” Cr Dobie said.

“We will continue to ensure our rural residents can purchase water for their domestic use, and will regularly review the feasibility of providing access to individual residents to the region’s standpipes as we continue to manage the region’s diminishing dam levels.”

Extreme level water restrictions, at 120 litres per person per day, were introduced in March and apply to all residents, including rural residents, who purchase water from Southern Downs Regional Council.

At its April General Meeting, Council moved to continue with extreme level water restrictions in response to excessive water use across the region as well as little to no rainfall and low dam levels.

Residents are being called on to be vigilant and curb excessive water use with consumption still well above the shared target despite extreme level water restrictions.

Cr Dobie said Council is urging the community to heed the water wise message and to take the need for water restrictions seriously.

“Severe drought conditions continue to significantly impact our region and are placing great stress on our water supplies.

“Leslie Dam is currently at 6.97 per cent capacity, Storm King is at 36 per cent and Connolly Dam is 44 per cent full.

“It is important to remember that Storm King Dam is the sole supply for Stanthorpe’s urban water source and with no rainfall currently has around six months’ supply remaining.

“Low dam levels, dry conditions and excessive water consumption mean the Southern Downs will remain on extreme level water restrictions for the foreseeable future.

 “Water restrictions are vital to sustaining and conserving the region’s precious water supplies while the region is in drought, and it is imperative that everyone is doing their bit to adhere to extreme level water restrictions,” Cr Dobie said.  

SDRC is working with local businesses, sporting clubs and community groups to help them reduce their water consumption and conserve water, and is currently reviewing all aspects of Council’s raw and recycled water supply.

Water restrictions and any penalties for non-compliance are authorised under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.

Residents who see someone breaching water restrictions are encouraged to contact Council.

What do extreme level water restrictions mean for you? Visit or contact 1300 My SDRC (1300 697 372).

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