BIG DRY: Leslie Dam currently sits at around 5 per cent capacity, which may run out as early as mid 2020 at the current rate of water consumption.
BIG DRY: Leslie Dam currently sits at around 5 per cent capacity, which may run out as early as mid 2020 at the current rate of water consumption.

Warwick water supply may run dry earlier than predicted

WATER supply in Warwick may run dry earlier than expected, with new estimates suggesting dam water could become unusable by mid 2020.

Though both commercial and residential water use continues to drop each month, Leslie and Connolly Dams have a combined 6766 megalitres available for use, reducing the remaining supply to just 12 months.

As the level at Leslie Dam drops below 5 per cent, continued use will depend on potable water quality, according to Southern Downs Regional Council reports.

For now, the contingency plan identifies the vast system of urban and rural bores as the key to "droughtproofing" the region.

Intensive investigations have estimated a combined water supply of more than nine years from bores in Dalveen, Leyburn and Pratten.

The final bore report is yet to be delivered, but it is expected to identify the Allora bore as another adequate water source that could be used to supplement the Warwick supply.

Large volumes of donated water likely caused a significant drop in Stanthorpe's water use, where the average resident is now using around 118 litres per day and standpipe use was just 20 per cent of the monthly average.

Emergency water infrastructure to ensure Stanthorpe's water supply is due to be complete by the end of November, ahead of Storm King's D-Day in December.

Killarney residents remain the Southern Downs' highest water users, with an average daily use of more than 180L per person, per day.

The Killarney water supply is estimated to contain over 38 months' of water and has been identified as a source of water for regional roadworks.

On the other hand, Wallangarra remains the only town to consistently hit critical level water restrictions of 100L per person, per day.

In the long term, planning and investigations are set to begin for a pipeline to be constructed from Connolly Dam to Storm King Dam, while council has expressed a desire to source a connection into the south east Queensland water grid.



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