WHEN THE WATER STOPS: Water carting trucking water from Connolly Dam in Warwick to Storm King Dam in Stanthorpe has an expiry date. Photo: Southern Downs Regional Council.
WHEN THE WATER STOPS: Water carting trucking water from Connolly Dam in Warwick to Storm King Dam in Stanthorpe has an expiry date. Photo: Southern Downs Regional Council.

Stanthorpe nears end of carting with little rain in sight

TIME is running out for Storm King Dam, as the Queensland Government’s six month commitment to cart water from Warwick to Stanthorpe nears its end.

Since full carting began in January, the dam has failed to receive any significant inflows and remains at a concerning 17.5 per cent.

The $800,000 agreement between the state government and the Southern Downs Regional Council was scheduled for six months, or until the dam received a six-month supply of water.

The dilemma prompted councillor Jo McNally to question the council’s water contingency plan during the SDRC meeting this week.

“What happens when the funding lapses?” she asked.

“(Can) that be extended if needed?”

There could be an opportunity to renegotiate, according to SDRC director of infrastructure services Seren McKenzie.

“We’ve only been carting about 1.1ML per day, which is well under the amount funded,” Ms McKenzie said.

“We’re running well below the full budgeted amount, so we can talk to them about that underspend (regarding) what happens when … funding lapses.”

The water contingency plan as contained in the council agenda includes long term solutions for both Warwick and Stanthorpe, and budget implications are reassessed on both a monthly and quarterly basis.

“We’re keeping a close eye on it,” she said.

Councillor Sheryl Windle emphasised the need for the council to push ahead with its plans to ensure water security, regardless of how much rain may fall over the coming years.

“We won’t stop until we find a solution,” she said.

“We will continue to (work towards water security) until we come up with a solution to benefit the entire region.”


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