Mayor issues warning on water use

Date published: 23 November 2016

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill has warned residents could be hit with Level 4 water restrictions early next year if the daily water consumption target of 100ML a day is not met.

Last week, Townsville residents used an average of 115ML a day, with a massive 140ML recorded on Sunday. This is as much as we were using during Level 2 restrictions.

The commencement of pumping from the Burdekin was not a replacement for drought-breaking rain and it was vital people did all they could to conserve water in order to delay more severe restrictions, Cr Hill said.

“It’s important to understand that even with the pumping, between 20 and 40ML of the 130ML pumped will be lost through evaporation at very low dam levels, meaning the level in the Ross Dam will continue to fall,” Cr Hill said.

“At this rate, if we receive no rain we will be forced to move to Level 4 restrictions early next year that will see severe limits on all indoor and outdoor water use.

“We’re experiencing one of the driest periods on record and consumption figures show pretty clearly that across the community we’re using more water than we should.

“It’s imperative we all do our bit to stick to the water restrictions in order to see us through the drought. It will only be by working together that we will get through this extraordinary dry spell.”

Cr Hill said council would increase compliance patrols, particularly in suburbs where usage was known to be high and requested people to contact council about those who are flouting the restrictions.

Council is leading the way by reducing irrigation in the city’s parks and gardens by 60% by the end of the week, an increase from 44% under the current restrictions.

“These are tough measures and it’s sad that there are some in the community who continue to ignore the restrictions.

“In the meantime, we are working to ensure the State and Federal Governments finally address the long-term water security for Townsville as part of the City Deal process.”

Water restrictions timeline:

  • 25 August 2015 Introduction of Level 1 with the dam at 40 per cent
  • October 27 2015 Introduction of Level 2 as dam hits 30 per cent
  • August 8 2016 Introduction of Level 3 restrictions as dam drops to 20 per cent
  • November 16 2016 Pumping from the Burdekin commences as dam reaches 15 per cent

Adopted restrictions:

Odds and evens system
Odds – Wednesday and Sunday
Evens – Tuesday and Saturday

Level 2
Ross Dam is at 30%. Sprinklers only 6-8pm. Odds and evens apply. Handheld water any time
* TCC Parks and Gardens irrigation – reduced by 24%

Level 3
Ross Dam is at 20%. Ban on sprinklers. Hand held water 6-7am and 6-7pm. Odds and evens apply
* TCC Parks and Gardens irrigation – already reduced by 44% and will now reduce by 60%

Level 4
Ross Dam is at 10%. Ban on sprinklers and hand held watering. Water by can/bucket only. Odds and evens apply.
* TCC Parks and Gardens irrigation – reduced by 84%