Falls make small impact on dam levels

The Bill Gunn Dam, Lake Dyer, has 1% usable storage water available.  Photo: Michael Holman
The Bill Gunn Dam, Lake Dyer, has 1% usable storage water available. Photo: Michael Holman

By Rebecca Dull

LOCAL dams received a small boost to their supplies after the weekend rain.

Figures from SunWater show the dams benefited from scattered storms across the region.

Maroon Dam, south of Boonah, received 86.4mm over the weekend, increasing its usable storage by 1.7% from Friday.

The dam now holds 6269ML of usable water, 18% of its 37,100ML full operating level.

Moogerah Dam, south-west of Boonah, also received 26.2mm.

This boosted the dam's usable storage volume by 0.3%, up to 9% of its 83,700ML capacity.

The dam holds 7348ML of usable water.

Despite receiving 1mm of rain over the weekend, Bill Gunn Dam, west of Ipswich, lost 4ML of usable water since Friday, according to SunWater's figures.

Atkinson Dam, north of Ipswich, remains at 0%, with no usable water available, but received 2.4mm over the weekend.

SEQWater Regional Drought Strategy project manager Daryl Ross said the average water consumption in the south-eastern region for November was 758ML a day.

"This is 29% below the average consumption for November over the past five years," he said.

He said the region had received above average rainfall during October and November.

The combined dam storage level is currently at 34%.

"Essentially, the storm rainfall patterns have assisted in both reducing water consumptions and providing sufficient inflows to maintain storage levels," Mr Ross said.

"With the current catchment conditions, it is estimated that rainfall in the order of 60-80mm is required across the total Wivenhoe catchment area to create inflows required to reach the exit trigger from level two restrictions."

Mr Ross said under the worst-case scenario of zero inflows, the estimated trigger for level three restrictions (30% combined storage level) could be reached by January.

But he said it was unlikely because of the expectation of continuing rainfall and inflows into the storage points over the next couple of months.

"The climate predictions have indicated that there is slightly better chance of average or above average rainfall and inflows to the dams this summer." Natural Resources and Mines Minister Henry Palaszczuk welcomed the rain but said many of Queensland's water storages remained at record-low levels.

"We cannot let the community believe that the rains have solved the problem, because it is not true," he said.

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