Water use debate dry old argument
Christmas drop encouraging but more could be done
TWIN cities residents are still flouting pleas to cut back on water usage, despite encouraging drops in consumption over Christmas.
Townsville and Thuringowa city councils have been urging residents to drop consumption to 140Ml per day after level two restrictions and the Water Management Strategy were i n t r o d u c e d i n m i d - November.
Since then, the average consumption has been 155.8Ml per day, which equates to 3.5 per cent of the Ross River Dam.
But authorities are warning it is still too high.
Christmas Day saw a drop to 116Ml and Boxing Day consumption was 113Ml.
Recent rainfall has helped replenish some water stocks, but more is needed to have a serious impact.
The dam level is currently at 16.5 per cent capacity.
‘‘The actual capacity of the dam has risen about 1400Ml overnight (Wednesday) so presumably there has been some run-off rain,’’ an NQ Water spokesman said.
‘‘There are 11 measuring stations in the Ross River Dam catchment, one of those recorded 11mm.
‘‘It doesn’t mean much in itself but if the land is primed there will be a little bit of run-off.’’
The spokesman said further rainfall across the region would help dam levels rise.
The Townsville Weather Bureau has forecast some rain and possible thunderstorms over the coming days.
Thuringowa Mayor Les Tyrell said he was pleased with the figures but encouraged residents to continue to cut water usage.
Cr Tyrell said there had been no fines handed out to residents during the 41 days of the level two water restriction period.
‘‘The figures are pleasing and people obviously under- stand our need to water at restricted times,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s always people who are doing the wrong thing and those people have certainly been getting warnings.’’
He said if water levels continued to drop officers would fine residents who ignored the current bans of not sprinkling between 9am and 4pm on the odds and evens system.
The introduction of level three water restrictions will be implemented when the dam hits 10 per cent capacity.
‘‘The dam is not expected to get to 10 per cent until mid to late-January,’’ the NQ Water spokesman said.
Breaches of water fines carry a minimum $150 onthe-spot fine.
Townsville’s five-tier policy includes the following measures:
Level one: 20 per cent level; sprinkling subject to odds and evens system.
Level two: below 20 per cent level; sprinkling is banned from 9am to 4pm following odds and evens.
Level three: below 10 per cent; water police will enforce a daylight ban on watering.
Level four: 5 per cent; sprinkling allowed for just two hours a day, from 6.30-7.30am and 6.30-7.30pm.
Level five: 3.5 per cent; will ban all irrigation except for hand-held watering two hours a day.
SPECIAL TREATMENT . . . duty officer Phil Tibbey at the Douglas water treatment plant