With the region’s dams at full urban supply capacity following last week’s torrential rain, Southern Downs Regional Council has voted unanimously in favour of relaxing water restrictions and moving to Permanent Water Saving Rules with a residential water use target of 200 litres per person per day, effective immediately.
Under the new draft Drought Management Plan, residents will be permitted to use water from the reticulated network on their gardens under restricted guidelines and will be encouraged to continue practicing water wise behaviour.
Southern Downs Mayor, Vic Pennisi said that the drought had taken a significant toll on the region.
“Our region is emerging from one of the most devastating and fatiguing droughts in our history, and on the back of bushfire and a global pandemic, the toll on our residents, businesses and producers has been immense,” Mayor Pennisi said.
“With our dams now at supply capacity, it is fitting to offer water restrictions respite to residents, however Council encourages the community to continue to practice water conserving behaviour,” he said.
“Most of us with water tanks will hopefully have a full supply, and following today’s announcement all residents will now have the opportunity to water their gardens under the new guidelines.
“Today we might have water, but as a drought prone region, we are always one day closer to our next drought and we need to continue to be sensible and responsible in our approach to water usage.
“Our goal as a region should be to use our water supply wisely and make efficient use of every drop so that we maintain a lifestyle that doesn’t involve more water restrictions for as long as possible.
“We have a reprieve, but we are not out of the woods. Council will continue discussions with State and Federal Government lead agencies to progress water security solutions for our region in the future.”
Water carting from Connolly Dam has now ceased and Stanthorpe is again sourcing its potable water from Storm King Dam.