Wa­ter bans loom

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil is flag­ging the pos­si­bil­ity of wa­ter re­stric­tions in Moss­man and Port Dou­glas if the nor­mal sum­mer rains are un­sea­son­ally late.

The situ­ta­tion, as re­ported to a coun­cil com­mit­tee by the gen­eral man­ager of wa­ter and waste Paul Ut­ting, could be be­come crit­i­cal un­less sus­tained rain­fall is re­ceived in com­ing weeks.

‘‘We just want to en­gage the com­mu­nity by telling them that there is a pos­si­bil­ity of wa­ter re­stric­tions if the sit­u­a­tion wors­ens,’’ Mr Ut­ting said. He stressed that at the mo­ment the coun­cil is keen to merely warn the com­mu­nity that re­stric­tions are a pos­si­bil­ity, and the CRC will con­tinue to talk to the com­mu­nity as the sit­u­a­tion evolves over the next two months.

‘‘If it’s too low [in the Rex Creek] by the time we al­low com­pen­sa­tion flow [from the Moss­man River] we may not be able t o meet de­mand,’’ Mr Ut­ting said.

‘‘If we do have to im­ple­ment wa­ter re­stric­tions we might have to see a change in be­hav­iour rather quickly.’’

Level one re­stric­tions cut down the al­low­able hours for sprin­kler use, and higher lev­els tighten this up to the point of deny­ing sprin­kler use. ‘‘ We could go from zero through to level three very quickly,’’ Mr Ut­ting said.

Draw­ing com­pen­sa­tion sup­plies from Moss­man River has lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems -- the cor­rect pump would have to be sent up from the south, at con­sid­er­able cost in time and money. ‘‘That’s why we haven’t done it yet,’’ he said.

Rex Creek is a run-of-river sup­ply which means there is no dam or reser­voir which saves wa­ter. Once it’s gone it’s gone.

Mr Ut­ting added that it was also im­per­a­tive that the en­vi­ron­men­tal flows from Rex Creek be main­tained.

GET­TING CLOSE: in­let screen in 2013

LOW LEVEL:

in­let screen in 2009

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