LAYING LOW: Leslie Dam at one of its lowest water levels. Photo: file
LAYING LOW: Leslie Dam at one of its lowest water levels. Photo: file

FIRST LOOK: Water restriction changes floated

A SUITE of changes to water restrictions could be on the cards for Southern Downs residents under the council’s proposed drought management plan.

Currently under the community consultation period, the review has so far received 331 survey responses from people, schools, and businesses across the region.

One of the major changes flagged by the survey was an overhaul of water restrictions, condensing six levels into five, with 100L per person, per day as the new “emergency” baseline.

SDRC sustainability officer Catherine Travers said many respondents were for the changes, particularly remembering the hardship of last year’s strict limits.

“Responses also indicated water use does need to be monitored at all levels, and a strong feeling that it’s applicable to both residents and visitors to the community,” Ms Travers said.

“Not too sure yet how we’re going to (regulate tourists’ water use), but certainly we have established good relationships with accommodation businesses, so it will be all about communication.”

“Another trend was residents indicating they’d like council to prescribe activities for each level of water restrictions, but with some flexibility in how it’s managed.”

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The revised plan had several stages of council approval before being finalised, though Ms Travers hoped it would be either by the end of this year or early 2021.

“We’ve got a lot more modelling data available to us now, so we’re much better positioned to say what the outcome will be if we shift water restriction levels,” she said.

“We’re also looking to incorporate a climate outlook, rather than rely on the dam level trigger.”

The new plans come as September water meter data revealed residents in Warwick, Stanthorpe, Allora, Killarney, Wallangarra, and Pratten were using 140L – 190L per day.

This left only Leyburn, Dalveen, and Yangan abiding by the 120L restriction.

SDRC’s drought management plan consultation period closes Sunday, October 25.

Visit the SDRC website or call 1300 697 372 for more information.


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