Penny Davies and Caio at Storm King Dam.
Penny Davies and Caio at Storm King Dam. Matthew Purcell

Alarm at dam levels

AS the water drops at Storm King Dam, residents of the region watch on with bated breath.

For those who live directly next to it, it's a sad sight that greets them on a daily basis.

Tim Page's property has gone from four acres to more than 20, he jokes, as evaporation takes its toll. The cracked earth around his property where water used to lie is becoming clearer each day.

"I've been living there since '98. It's been sad. It has been worse, but I can't remember when,” he said.

"It's going down at least half an inch every day I reckon.

"I've only got about four-and-a-half acres but at the moment it looks like I have about 24. Let's hope it bloody rains.”

DWINDLING DAILY: Storm King Dam yesterday, with cracked earth appearing around its edge.
DWINDLING DAILY: Storm King Dam yesterday, with cracked earth appearing around its edge. Matthew Purcell

Mr Page's neighbour, Penny Davies, does recall the last severe drop of the dam.

"We've lived here for about 32 year's now. So 2004 was worse. But we hadn't had such a hot summer so it recovered a lot quicker,” she said.

Her and husband Roger routinely sweep the dam's edge to pick up discarded rubbish.

"Another thing that happens when the water drops is you can see all the rubbish people throw out of their boats,” Mrs Davies said.

"Yes, I really worry about the people in the area but I also worry about the environment, the animals, birds, frogs, fish.”

"We're at the top of all that, but we're at risk of toppling too.”

Council's last test of the dam at the end of April showed there's 36 per cent left.

However, according to its latest statistics, people have heeded the warnings and are reducing usage.

Over a 13-month period, April saw the second lowest monthly water consumption in Stanthorpe, slightly more than October last year, but significantly less than April of 2018.

Figures show that every town in the Southern Downs is now on or below its water consumption target.

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