Mayor warns river could run dry within 3 months
THE Balonne River is expected to run dry within three months if residents continue to ignore stringent water restrictions.
The Balonne Shire Council has issued a dire warning to residents on Friday after introducing two new restriction levels to the St George Water Restriction Policy in a desperate attempt to manage the dwindling water supply.
Currently the Balonne River has only 375 megalitres left in the river, however that allocation is sustaining losses due to evaporation, seepage, and high usage rates.
According to Balonne Shire mayor Richard Marsh, the response to recently introduced level 4 restrictions has not reduced river water usage, suggesting some residents are illegally watering their gardens.
“Level four restrictions should have reduced consumption to the targeted 50 megalitres a month, however 90 ML is still being used, indicating some people in town weren’t doing the right thing.,” he said.
“We understand how upsetting it is for people to lose parts of their gardens, but it’s very disappointing to hear people talking about how to beat restrictions.
“This is the time for everyone to work together to preserve and conserve our river water, as without a major inflow the situation is only going to get worse.”
The new level 5 water restrictions will be triggered when the remaining river allocation drops between 350 and 250 ML, with a target usage of 33 ML a month.
Level 5 restrictions would see outside watering reduced to three days a week between 6 and 8pm.
Level 6 water restrictions will be enforced when the river allocation drops to less than 250ML, and would see a total ban of external water use.
“Council is encouraging residents to start understanding their usage by undertaking their own water meter readings,” Cr Marsh said.
“Simply take a reading at two points in time, and the difference between the readings is your water usage for that period.
“People need to understand that While the measures we are taking may seem like the end of the world, other communities are on harsher restrictions and have been for some time.
“We are all in the middle of the biggest natural disaster we’ve ever seen and St George is actually in the enviable position of having a good supply of bore water for household.”