DIRE: Southern Downs Regional Council says it's prepared for emergency water action.
DIRE: Southern Downs Regional Council says it's prepared for emergency water action. Samantha Wantling

Emergency discussions

BEST-case scenario, Stanthorpe has only five months of water remaining.

According to Southern Downs Regional Council, Storm King Dam's levels continues to decline, leading to discussions about emergency measures.

"We're in a situation now where Stanthorpe has got about five months' water left if we're very careful with the usage,” Mayor Tracy Dobie said.

"We have emergency allocations from Coolmunda and Glenlyon dams from Sun Water. We've also got 600MgL in bores in the northern part of the region and been given permission to access the Great Artesian Basin.

"The second side of it is having supplementary water. In the case of Stanthorpe, it's identified there that with the current growth in the number of people in the region we need a supplementary urban water supply by 2036.”

Cr Dobie said the council had begun the processes to recommission up to 26 bores in the region.

"Our community won't run out of water,” she said.

"We will get water to that community - that's the role of the local government to do that. It's just that it comes at a cost.”

The council has also begun more intensive testing of the current water levels in the region. If you've seen drones flying overhead around Eukey, that is why.

"SDRC has engaged contractors to undertake aerial and water surveys of Storm King, Leslie and Connolly dams, which include the use of drones for the aerial survey,” a council spokesperson said.

"The surveys will provide council with silt levels and more accurate readings of dam levels at each dam to help council manage the region's water resources moving forward.

"Contractors have been visiting households near Storm King Dam to notify them of the survey.”

Cr Dobie added: "All of this is part of the planning to manage the water we've got down to the very last drop.”

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