RUNNING LOW: Clancy and Elsie Willett survey Storm King Dam which is getting lower every day.
RUNNING LOW: Clancy and Elsie Willett survey Storm King Dam which is getting lower every day. Contributed

Locals pitch in to keep water, spirits flowing

WE'VE seen and heard about the actions of Brisbane and coastal families showing their support for the drought ravaged Granite Belt and now another band of volunteers are aiming to lift the spirits of those in their own backyard.

Granite Belt Water Relief is off and running, with local identities such as Russell Wantling and Denise Ingram spearheading the group.

"The residents are all doing it tough and they are only weeks away from running out of water,” Mr Wantling said. "While residents remain positive and upbeat, people who live in the outlying townships of the region are really struggling.”

Mr Wantling's roots go back generations in the Granite Belt area, but this is the worst he's seen the area.

"This is the worst I've ever seen it - for sure.

"I was talking to a lot of the old blokes out that way who live near the dam and they said they've never ever seen some of those springs out Eukey way go that dry.

"With reports of animals being euthanised due to no water left in dams, it was only fair that stock was also given a fighting chance to see this drought out.

"When I was going home one afternoon out at the dam there I come across a bloke bucketing water in with his family into one of those pods.

"I just stopped and asked him what he was doing and he said he just couldn't afford to buy water.

"That's when I thought 'bugger it we need to do something',” he said.

With the help of his employer, Lindsay Brothers Transport, he plans on collecting donations to pay for water which will be trucked back to those who need it most.

"We're trying to get the money for 20 pods and take them to Brisbane and fill them up and bring them back. Lindsay's have waived all the costs on the transport. All we've got to do is pay for the water which is $500 for 20,000 litres of water.

"From there we'll just start doing a load a week or as much as we can. We'll just keep going. We're just trying to take pressure off of Storm King Dam,” he said.

He said plenty of the outlying areas, some that may surprise, are doing it especially tough too.

"A Liston lady rang me yesterday and said a few people out there are really struggling and have no drinking water.”

To help out visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Granite-Belt-Water-Relief

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