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DAY OF THE HOSE



THIS Monday, October 3, will usher in the predicted water usage restrictions - unless the heavens open and a flood befalls the south-east Queensland region.

The Gold Coast City Council's water supply spokesperson has warned consumers to prepare to put away sprinklers and get used to what could be confusing hand-hosing times.

Cr Daphne McDonald warned that further restriction would be certain if the drought in south-east Queensland affecting 14 local authorities, continued.

Cr McDonald said the Hinze Dam capacity was at 80 per cent while other reservoirs continued to drop.

"The community must understand our water usage is linked to the south-east region. We cannot go it alone," she said.

Gold Coast City is set to join with 12 other councils throughout the region in the first-ever joint campaign to protect water reserves.

While the Gold Coast received replenishing rain at Hinze Dam in June, the rest of the region was not as fortunate.

Cr McDonald said that hopes of rainfall throughout much of south east Queensland had failed to eventuate.

Adverse weather conditions, she said, did not recognise local government boundaries.

"We're in this campaign together and Gold Coast residents are 'battle-hardened troops' when it came to facing the water conservation challenges," she said.

"The residents in this city have led by example in the past and learned to cope with the restrictions on water to conserve our water supply.

"I'm expecting the same co-operation, understanding and support from the community that has become a hallmark of the Gold Coast."

Cr McDonald said the Level 2 restrictions coincided with the combined water storage of Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine dams falling below 35 per cent.

Further restrictions would have to be applied if the combined storages fell below 30 per cent.

She said the regional campaign was a case of 'strength and success through unity'.

"It was only a few years ago that Hinze Dam had dropped to less than 30 per cent and we were looking to the Wivenhoe system as a back up," she said.

"Hinze Dam is now just under 80 per cent of capacity - after the June 30 deluge - but it would be a cop-out to say 'we're doing fine now, we don't need to be part of a regional approach'.

"The tables can turn at any stage ? if we expect to be helped in the future, we must be prepared to provide help now."

Cr McDonald said that until this historic agreement, each council had been responsible for its own decisions on restrictions and related policies.

She said differing council policies created confusing and even conflicting messages to the community.

In some locations, neighbours (in different local government areas) were on different levels of restrictions.

She said the co-operative approach was aimed at maximising water conservation outcomes.



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