Water bans loom
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
inlet screen in 2009