Anderson family talk water use.
Anderson family talk water use. Contributed

Families panic over proposed emergency water limit

WITH water restrictions tightening and council mulling over whether to introduce stricter limits, some families are wondering how to keep up.

The current water limit in the Southern Downs area of 120 litres per person, per day limit could drop to 90 litres within weeks, making households like the Anderson's anxious.

With mum, dad and six kids, they're already cutting corners to salvage as much water as realistically possible.

Damian said he and partner Kristy were stretched to the limit, clueless on how they could possibly be doing more.

"With six little kids and two adults in a house of eight, it's going to be pretty difficult," he said.

"We're only already using the washing machine when it's a full load - but we still have to at least do two loads a day, sometimes three."

They only use the dishwasher when it's 'chockers' and bath their six-month-old son, Wyatt, in the laundry tub. They then use that water for the garden.

The other five children share a bath and mum and dad even rinse the kids' toothbrushes so they know how much water is going down the drain.

"We've been in Stanthorpe for a long time and know droughts come, so as soon as it started to drop back we just knew we had to be wise - but how much more water wise can you get when you've got eight people in a household?" Mr Anderson said.

"I don't know how much more we can actually cut back. What are we going to say - the kids can't drink water?


Anderson family talk water use.
PROPOSED DROP: Parents Damian and Kristy with their kids Brianna, Willow, Wyatt, Levi, Oakley and Cohen. The couple says being able to drop their use to 90 litres a day will be hard. Contributed

"It's not a council bashing thing but we have droughts all the time, we knew this drought was coming. Do something about it.

"We'll go to 120L, we'll go to 90L, where are we going to cut back another 30L a person? That's 240L a day that they want our house to cut back. Where, how? Tell us how.

"You can throw numbers out there but give us strategies," he said.

"I know you can't make it rain but you can be prepared as a council."

With the family holidaying in Port Macquarie, Mr Anderson said at least they were helping save water in that respect.

"It is green as down here. They'd had rain for about a week and half before we got here."

A stark difference to the Southern Downs.

"Should the proposed 90 litre per person per day water restriction be implemented, each person in the household can use the relevant water allocation. It doesn't matter if the person is an adult or a child," a Southern Downs Regional Council spokesperson said.

So for the Andersons, they would be allowed to use 720L in their house each day.

Currently there is a limit of 120 litres per person per day. This means that:

. Single person can use up to 120 litres per day within the home

. 2 people sharing accommodation have 240 litres to use for the household per day

. 3 people sharing accommodation have 360 litres to use for the household per day

A council spokesperson said the 90 litre per person per day restriction had not been implemented and detailed consultation with the community would occur prior to the implementation.