Water is flowing over Wappa Dam
Water is flowing over Wappa Dam Mark Furler

Wet weekend adds three months to Coast drinking water supply

HEAVY rain and storms that hit the Sunshine Coast last Friday and over the weekend have filled the region's dams, except two.

Seqwater Acting chief executive officer Dan Spiller said the weekend downpour has provided two-and-a-half months of drinking water supply to the south-east corner.

All but two of the Sunshine Coast drinking water dams are at 100% capacity and spilling following the weekend's drenching rainfall.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the rainfall over the weekend had increased the capacity of the SEQ water grid by 3 per cent to 78 per cent.

On the Sunshine Coast, Baroon Pocket, is not full, remaining at 88 per cent while Cooloolabin Dam, which is nearing full supply at 95 per cent

"Water supply security on the Sunshine Coast dams is now the highest it's been since May 2015,'' Dr Lynham said.

"But with Baroon Pocket, the Coast's largest dam, not full, Seqwater will continue to take action to bolster supply for the Sunshine Coast.

"In October last year Baroon Pocket Dam was at 45 per cent capacity after consecutive failed wet seasons and record low inflows,'' Dr Lynham said.

Seqwater has been supplementing local supply on the Sunshine Coast since last year by moving water north from other parts of SEQ.

In addition, Seqwater is investing $20 million to increase the capacity of the Grid to move more drinking water to the Sunshine Coast if required in the future.

Mr Spiller said Sunshine Coast dams had historically provided the most reliable drinking water supply in South East Queensland, with regular and consistent wet seasons.

"However over the past three years this pattern has changed dramatically and 2017 highlighted how quickly our dam levels on the Sunshine Coast can drop away,'' he said.

Most Sunshine Coast dams are at full capacity and spilling including Ewen Maddock, Wappa and Poona as well as Lake Macdonald in Noosa and Cedar Pocket and Borumba in Gympie.

Hinze Dam and Little Nerang on the Gold Coast also received a top up.

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