Drought has hit the region hard..
Drought has hit the region hard..

Water donations flow into region from all around the world

THE Southern Downs region has been inundated with drought relief support over the past three months, with organisations popping up to do their bit for the community.

With water supply declining rapidly and the prospect of significant rainfall bleak, organisations like Water for West have emerged to lend a hand.

Founded in mid-August, the Hope Island Rotary Club project was the concept of Sharyn Watson, who initially only thought small-scale about water donations.

"I think at the moment, we'd be closing in on close to 300,000 litres of water. There's probably been on average around 200,000 litres actually delivered, while we have about 25,000 to 30,000 in storage waiting to go," Mrs Watson said.

"There's been heaps of support for the organisation - our Facebook page is about to hit 7000 likes."

Donations have come in all sizes, with collection points accepting 600ml bottles of water to 10L drums, and even include fortnightly tankers to the affected region.

But donations haven't just been limited to water Watson said, with monetary donations equally important.

"Most of the water donations that we've received have come from the South East corner, but we've seen cash donations from all around the world - New Zealand, America, and I've even had one person message me from Switzerland," Mrs Watson said.

"I think with a lot of people, they've either visited the region or they've worked as pickers in Stanthorpe so they can really understand the pain of it."

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said it would be almost impossible to calculate the exact amount of water donated, given the vast number of donation points.

"It would be impossible to calculate how much water has been donated, the reason I say that is because water is being so generously donated from a whole lot of different sources," Cr Dobie said.

"We'd be measuring the water donations now in the megalitres - that's talking about Olympic-size swimming pools."

Despite not being from the region, Watson remains committed to giving back to the regional community.

"Drought is different to any other natural disaster. It's not like a flood or a cyclone where the impact is almost instantaneous. Drought is ongoing, and isn't fixed overnight."



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