Tweed water supply overflowing

JUST how "dam" lucky is the Tweed? For almost a year the Tweed's back-up water supply -- Clarrie Hall Dam south west of Murwillumbah -- has just kept running over.

The shire has at least six months of water supply up its sleeve before serious%water restrictions are thought about.

By comparison the Gold Coast now faces tough water restrictions to be imposed by the Queensland Water Commission after the level of the Hinze Dam dropped to below 95 per cent capacity.

Yesterday Tweed Shire Council water manager Anthony Burnham said the dam had been full since%October 26 last year.

"It was 99 per cent for a few days before that," he added. "It really filled up on the 10th of September last year. The people that were involved in the planning of the dam originally have certainly placed the Tweed in a very good position."

Mr Burnham said the council had been relying only on the flow down the Tweed River at its Bray Park weir in Murwillumbah for town water supplies.

It is only in drier times that council releases water into the river from the dam to improve flow at the weir. Mr Burnham said the "trigger" even for a ban on water sales by water carters to areas outside the shire was the 90 per cent dam level.

But it would take around 10 weeks to reach that level after water was first released.

"On average we would drop a percentage a week, a little bit more in hotter weather," he said.

"The first level of public restrictions is triggered at 75 per cent. "That would take around 25 weeks. We should well and truly have had a wet season by then."

Gold Coast City residents will be limited to 170 litres per person per day from October 27.

They are being told they can only wash vehicles, clean external surfaces of houses, building materials and equipment, as well as water gardens and plants, using a hand-held hose with a trigger or twist nozzle for 30 minutes a week between 4-4.30pm (Saturday for odd-numbered homes and Sunday for even-numbered and un-numbered homes.

Currently Gold Coast residents use an average 198 litres of water a person per day.

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