Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh said St George would move to level 5 water restrictions next Monday.
Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh said St George would move to level 5 water restrictions next Monday.

Mayor: ’We won't have enough water for fire services’

FIREFIGHTING services, amenities and airconditioning are under threat across the Balonne Shire Council as St George's main water supply continues to drop to drastically low levels.

A lack of co-operation from residents has triggered a move to Level 5 water restrictions for St George from next Monday.

Until December, Balonne Shire Council did not have any level 5 water restriction processes in place, but the ongoing drought prompted the creation of two new emergency levels.

Balonne Shire mayor Richard Marsh said the council's river water allocation fell below the 350ML trigger mark late last month.

"It's disappointing we haven't been able to stretch our allocation further," he said.

"If people don't abide by Level 5 restrictions, we will not have enough water for critical services such as firefighting, amenities and airconditioning.

"The town's average daily water usage dipped to 2.85ML per day for December but returned to 3ML per day at the start of January.

"The temporary reduction seems driven by people being away over Christmas holidays, rather than an intentional reduction," Cr Marsh said.

Forward calculations estimated river water allocation would have dipped to less than 250ML by next Monday, with would have triggered Level 6 water restrictions and banned all external water use.

"The town now has another chance to work together to avoid a total watering ban," he said.

"It's heartbreaking for residents to lose their gardens, but with no guarantee of good summer rain, we have to be water wise.

"We remain fortunate to have ample bore water for household use.

"We've worked hard to conserve a river water supply drained by drought and repairs to Beardmore Dam. We need all residents to work with us, respect the restrictions, and reduce their water use."

Level 5 water restrictions reduce handheld watering to three days a week between 6pm to 8pm. Residences, businesses and schools with odd street numbers will water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while even street numbers will water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Council will also reduce watering in public areas to only the Rowden Park oval, the War Memorial, Cemetery, and swimming pool greens.

River water users should aim to use a maximum of 1.2KL per day, and can monitor usage by taking two readings from their river water mete.


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