New bores sunk by legislation
STANTHORPE resident Tracey has spent $7000 on what she calls an "insurance policy” for her more than 25-year-old garden.
The retiree wouldn't have done it except for the fact legislation rolling into Stanthorpe means it soon won't be allowed.
She sunk a bore out of concern that if the town receives no rain, their newly purchased house would lose its spectacular garden.
"Even though we have about 50,000 litre of tank water in addition to town we use 5000 (litres) a week to keep the garden alive,” she said.
She was given the suggestion for a bore by other residents and inquired with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) when she discovered the changes.
A DNRME spokeswoman explained a moratorium was placed in July 2016 to protect existing water entitlements and the natural ecosystems in the Border Rivers and Moonie Water Plan areas.
"Under the moratorium landholders are not allowed to construct new or modify existing infrastructure (which includes bores) that captures underground water,” she said.
"The draft Water Plan contains details about ending the drilling of new stock and domestic bores in town water service areas, including Stanthorpe.”
The new Water Plan for the Border Rivers Water Plan area is due to start in the first quarter of 2019 and will include the necessary provisions to manage the take of groundwater.
With the legislation rolling out soon, Tracey took advantage of the window of opportunity.
"We can't rely on it raining as often as we would like any more,” she said.
"Storm King Dam isn't getting any bigger, there's no plans for domestic water dams and there's more people moving to town. I just don't want my garden to die.”
The garden fills over two hectares of land featuring more than 70 roses over 25-years-old, many different flowers, trees and a vegetable patch.
Tracey uses well within her allocated town water and the state of the garden shows it. For now, she's just trying to keep it alive.
"I don't know what people are expected to do and bores are a viable option in times of drought,” Tracey told the Border Post.