Rain not enough to lift water restrictions


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The recent rain across the Douglas Shire has not been enough to lift the Level 2 water restrictions. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE Douglas Shire Council said today although the shire has received reasonable rainfall since the start of the New Year, there has not been sufficient rain to end the Level 2 water restrictions.

And the shire’s General Manager Operations, Nick Wellwood, told Newsport the water restriction status is reviewed on a daily basis.

“While there has been some reasonable rainfall recorded in the Douglas Shire to start off 2017, this has not been enough to alleviate the Level 2 water restrictions.

“Significant rainfall events also cause increased turbidity levels which can create issues for our water network,” said Wellwood.

Turbidity is a measure of the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates. The more total suspended solids in the water, the murkier it seems and the higher the turbidity. Turbidity is considered as a good measure of the quality of water.

“When assessing the water restriction status, Council’s Water Operations team take into consideration the amount of water flowing into our distribution network, current and future demands and the short and medium term rainfall outlook.

“The latest information provided to Council from the Bureau of Meteorology predicts less than average rainfall for the remainder of January through to the end of February.

“With this outlook in mind, it is sensible to maintain Level 2 water restrictions in the Douglas Shire until our reserves are suitably replenished and we can be confident we can meet dry season demands,” he said

Wellwood said local residents and businesses are urged to ensure they observe the water restrictions, particularly in relation to watering their gardens, as Council Officers can and have been issuing penalty infringement notices for non-compliance.

“Fortunately the recent rains have alleviated some of the demand for water, which is what needs to happen before we contemplate any removal or relaxing of water restrictions.”

MEANWHILE, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed rain across large parts of western Queensland, but reaffirmed her Government’s support for the State’s drought-affected primary producers.
Visiting the State’s central west with Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne, the Premier said more than 83 per cent of Queensland remained drought-declared, including the Longreach and Maranoa Regional Council areas.

“The rain is welcomed, but the drought has been so severe and so prolonged that we will need significant follow-up rain,” the Premier said.

“During the course of this drought, the Queensland Government has paid $77.5 million in assistance to primary producers through its Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).”