Water restrictions relaxed for the Southern Downs
Water restrictions will be relaxed to 200L a day on the Southern Downs after significant rainfall filled dams and creeks, washing a wave of relief over the region.
Southern Downs councillors voted unanimously for the permanent restrictions after widespread rain last week brought an end to water carting in Stanthorpe on Monday and saw Storm King and Connolly Dams both reach fulll capacity.
The change in restrictions is effective immediately and came under a slew of guidelines, which councillor Sheryl Windle urged residents to follow.
“It doesn’t mean you can go out there and leave your hose lying on the ground or wasting water,” she said.
“We still have to be very very conscious of water saving where we can because we don’t know when it will rain again.
“I just urge everybody to try and adhere to regulations and conserve water to the best of their ability so we can be maintaining water to a good level for a very long time.”
Cr Marco Gliori seconded Cr Windle’s statement saying “the less we use the longer it lasts”.
During the special meeting, Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley also discussed changing the title of the Drought Management Plan to Water Conservation Plan to minimise community confusion.
“We are still in drought,” he said. “With all that rain, we have not been taken out of drought declaration as of yet.”
Director of Infrastructure Services Seren McKenzie said the council could address that at a later date.
Mayor Vic Pennisi thanked the community for their work during the peak of drought, which restored his “faith in humanity.”
“Can I say Stanthorpe you were impacted the most and it’s great to see you smiling,” he said.
“My commitment to the region is the same as it’s been over two decades.
“I will never forget the drought and will continue to advocate for affordable solutions with every ounce of energy in my body.”
The 200L a day guidelines, effectively immediately:
– Outdoor watering and cleaning of hard surfaces is permitted but can only occur during 7-9am and 4-6pm during May to September
and 6-8am and 5-7pm in October to April
– Residents can water established lawns and gardens within allocated times using water efficient sprinklers, fixed irrigation systems, hand-held hoses (only when fitted with a trigger nozzle), buckets and watering cans
– Garden sprinklers must be a minimum 3-star rating and used in conjunction with a timer, for only 20 minutes on any one day
– Sprinklers can only be used in accordance with scheduled outdoor watering times
– Use of efficient sprinklers must comply with Efficient Irrigation for Water Conservation Guidelines
– Residents can clean windows, mirrors and lights for safety at any time of day using hand-held hoses, buckets and high pressure/low volume water cleaning units
– Flushing of boat motors or vehicle brakes to maintain safe operation must be done on grassed areas where practicable
– New and existing pools and spas can be filled and topped up but pool covers must be used to comply
– Water play pools and toys may be used
– General cleaning of timber decks, windows driveways, pathways, house and roof painting preparation, solar panels, entertainment areas, outdoor furniture and paved surfaces is permitted with hand-held
hoses, buckets and high pressure/low volume water cleaning units
– Handheld hoses can only be used for cleaning when fitted with a trigger nozzle and are leak free