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Council

Big question: What’s the next step for water restrictions and carting?

25 March 2021

What a difference 48-hours makes! Following heavy rain in the right catchments, the regions’ three urban water supply storages were restored with Connolly and Storm King Dams now at 100% and Leslie Dam at 27.6%, of which 15% makes up the full urban allocation.

Focus now turns to decisions on current water restrictions, water carting and the return of Storm King Dam as Stanthorpe’s sole water source.

Southern Downs Regional Council is keen for the delivery of water to Stanthorpe to resume from Storm King Dam as quickly as possible and will mindfully consider easing water restrictions.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi thanked the Queensland Government for its generous support to fund water carting from Connolly Dam to Storm King Dam during one of the region’s most prolific droughts and said Council will consider relaxing current water restrictions and ceasing water carting.

“Water carting was a mammoth task that included many working parts and multiple stakeholders,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“The Queensland Government has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in weathering this devastating and historic drought, and the lifeline funding we gratefully received ensured that water continued to flow seamlessly from taps in Stanthorpe households during uncertain times. We simply can’t thank them enough.

“I must commend and acknowledge the resilience and cooperation of our community in working to reduce water usage while we collectively navigated unprecedented times as a unified region. Our staff and water carters also worked tirelessly and collaboratively to find solutions to unprecedented problems throughout this journey.

“Council will meet at a Special Meeting on 7 April 2021 to vote on easing water restrictions but we must be mindful that our region will always be prone to drought.

“With Storm King Dam now at a celebrated 100% capacity, we will enter into discussions with the Queensland Government and water carting contractors to phase out water carting from Connolly Dam to Stanthorpe as early as next week.

“It is important the water is safe for human consumption.  The transition process from one water source to another is complex and we will undertake regular testing of the treated water to ensure it continues to meet the Australian Standards.

“It is possible that Stanthorpe residents on the reticulated water network may initially notice some change in water quality and taste.”

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