RAIN RE­LIEF IN SIGHT Week­end tor­rent set to save our money

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BACK­HOUSE an­drew. back­house1@ news. com. au

A DOWN­POUR of rain this week­end could de­lay the pump­ing of wa­ter from the Bur­dekin Dam by weeks and save Townsville ratepay­ers thou­sands of dol­lars.

An up­per at­mos­phere trough is ex­pected to bring up to 20mm of rain to Townsville to­mor­row and 45mm on Sun­day. The fore­cast comes af­ter 73 bone- dry days, with the Ross River Dam level at 20.3 per cent ca­pac­ity.

Townsville City Coun­cil Wa­ter and Waste Com­mit­tee chair­man Cr Paul Ja­cob said the coun­cil had bud­geted to pump wa­ter from the Bur­dekin if the Ross River Dam dipped be­low 15 per cent.

Mr Ja­cob said the coun­cil had ex­pected to hit that trig­ger point in late Oc­to­ber.

“If we do get de­cent rain we could push that back into mid- Novem­ber,” he said.

“Ev­ery week we de­lay saves a lot of money for resi- dents and ratepay­ers.” Cr Ja­cob said res­i­dents were less likely to wa­ter gar­dens af­ter heavy down­pours.

The city’s res­i­dents used about 95 me­gal­itres of wa­ter each day last week.

Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy fore­caster Ju­lian de Mor­ton said the weather sys­tem would im­pact large swathes of the North, from the penin­sula to the Capri­cor­nia district.

The bulk of the sys­tem is ex­pected to con­cen­trate over the Townsville area, with an 80 per cent chance of rain in Townsville to­mor­row and 90 per cent on Sun­day.

Mr de Mor­ton said the fore­cast amount of rain could vary. “There could be more, there could be less,” he said.

Fore­cast­ing group Cen­tral and North Queens­land Weather is also pre­dict­ing a “sub­stan­tial rain event from ( to­day) un­til Sun­day”.

The last ma­jor rain event in Townsville was on May 19 when 120.8mm was recorded in the of­fi­cial gauge.

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

COOL CHANGE: Katie San­ders, 16, is look­ing for­ward to the fore­cast rain.

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