Turn them off!

By YVONNE McLEAN

ONLY persistent heavy rain to replenish falling reservoir levels can halt the introduction of more water restrictions in South East Queensland, and on the Gold Coast a total ban on the luxury of garden sprinklers can be expected in July.

The launch of a Regional Drought Strategy at a meeting of all members of South East local authorities in Brisbane last Friday has resulted in an all-out campaign to alert widespread communities to the critical need to minimise the use of water.

Up to 13 local authorities big and small who utilise water directly or indirectly from the Wivenhoe Dam have now imposed water restrictions on their communities, adopting policies which have been practised on the Gold Coast for many years.

Council's water chairperson Cr Daphne McDonald, back in the role after three weeks' leave, said it was encouraging to know that South East Queensland had embraced water-saving policies but not before time, with Wivenhoe and other reservoirs in Brisbane's north falling fast. Hinze Dam, the main Gold Coast supplier remains at about 72 per cent capacity.

"Collectively, South East Queensland consumers can expect a ban on sprinklers in July at a date to be announced," she said.

"Other restrictions will follow if water supply resources drop further."

Cr McDonald said she would be advising Gold Coast City Council to take a close look at turning off beach-side showers.

"The showers do not use that much water but they get the message across to the holidaymakers that the Gold Coast along with so much of Queensland and NSW remains in the grip of drought."



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