Main Image: Wivenhoe Dam’s water level below 40% (supplied).
Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said while the Bureau of Meteorology was predicting a wetter than average summer, the unpredictability of where rainfall would occur meant it was up to everyone to conserve water at every opportunity.
“For the majority of SEQ, the BOM is forecasting a 60 per cent chance of above median rainfall for November to January,” Mr Butcher said.
“However, despite a similar BOM wet season forecast last year, insufficient rainfall in the Wivenhoe catchment resulted in the ‘green drought’ conditions continuing this year.
“We’ve had a lot of rain in SEQ this week but we know every drop of water is precious. That’s why we’re urging all SEQ residents to be vigilant about water use.
“Right around SEQ people are seeing green parks and gardens in their suburbs and may not realise that many parts of the region remain drought affected.
“SEQ’s major storage dam, Wivenhoe Dam, provides more than half our region’s water supply alone and despite the recent rain the preceding dry conditions mean there has been minimal run-off of that rain into the dam.
“Seqwater have ramped up output from the Gold Coast Desalination Plant to supplement urban water supply and the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme has been providing water to industrial customers.
“But we need everyone to play their part and continue being vigilant when it comes to being waterwise.”
Medium-level water restrictions will be enforced by water retailers in SEQ when the water grid drops below 50 per cent.
Medium level water restrictions focus on curbing outdoor use – in gardens and washing cars – while households will be asked to limit water use 140 litres per person per day.
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Neil Brennan said SEQ’s current combined dam levels were about 3% less than the same time last year.
“Making sure we have enough water for today and into the future will be a combination of using our existing infrastructure to its full potential and continuing to use water wisely,” Mr Brennan said.
“Seqwater is managing the SEQ Water Grid – our connected network of bulk water pipelines and water treatment plants – to best preserve our largest water storage.
“Having these climate-resilient assets means we have more options to manage water supply challenges arising from sporadic rainfall, drought, climate change and population growth.”
Click here for more information on South East Queensland’s Drought Response Plan, grid capacity and waterwise tips.