Wivenhoe Dam’s level has dropped below 50 per cent. Photo Adam Armstrong
Wivenhoe Dam’s level has dropped below 50 per cent. Photo Adam Armstrong

Targets in play with dam drop

IPSWICH residents are on the brink of being asked to limit their daily water consumption, with combined dam levels about to drop below 60 per cent.

Seqwater’s latest information on the combined storage levels of the region’s dams shows the current figure of 60.3 per cent, marginally above the threshold for voluntary water restrictions to begin.

With the relentless dry, Wivenhoe Dam has now dipped to 48.3 per cent, with Somerset Dam on 67.4 per cent and North Pine on 61 per cent.

Once dam levels drop below 60 per cent, residents will be asked to look at common sense ways to save water and reduce their use to 150 litres a day per person.

According to the last available report, the average household water consumption in the southeast Queensland region was 185 litres per person per day.

Seqwater has advised that the Gold Coast desalination plant will kick into full production as part of an early response to the drought.

If dam levels drop below 50 per cent, residents will be asked to target to 140 litres a day.

The earliest restrictions would need to be considered is about mid-2020, Seqwater says.

The Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme will take as long as two years to remobilise and needs to be fully operational if combined dam levels drop to 40 per cent. Further restrictions will apply if levels continue to drop.

The region’s other dams could be connected to the grid if necessary.

Seqwater says while Lake Manchester is predominately used as a recreational resource, it could be used for drinking water in an emergency, along with Enoggera Dam and Sideling Creek Dam.

These dams hold a small volume of water compared with the major dams and therefore would not dramatically increase long-term water supply for the region.



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