Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor, Tracy Dobie announcing the new water-wise advertising campaign in Stanthorpe Piazza.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor, Tracy Dobie announcing the new water-wise advertising campaign in Stanthorpe Piazza. DEIRDRE SMITH

'Disaster': Mayor levels over water shortage

Southern Downs Mayor, Councillor Tracy Dobie was reluctant to describe the region's water shortage as a 'disaster' or an 'emergency'.

"But that's where we are."

Cr Dobie was in Stanthorpe Thursday morning to launch a new campaign urging families to be waterwise.

The campaign focus on water use habits, such as rinsing dishes and leaving a hose on while washing a car that are passed from parents to children. The campaign rolls out this Sunday, August 11.

Cr Dobie said it was fitting that the television commercial was shot in Stanthorpe and featured local residents as the storages that service the town reach a very low level.

"I don't like words like disaster or emergency but that's where we are," she said.

"It is not the first drought but it is the worst drought."

Cr Dobie said the council was working with residents with high water usage and would only fine people as a last resort.

"Every resident is working to decrease their water usage," she said.

Only one fine had been issued so far.

Southern Downs, and Stanthorpe in particular, are facing the most acute shortages of the five councils that have worked together to create and fund the campaign.

The participating councils, Toowoomba, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Goondiwindi and South Burnett Regional Councils, plus the Queensland State Government are facing water shortages of varying degrees.

Last month, Goondiwindi moved to 'level two' restrictions and Toowoomba has nine towns on 'medium' with one, Vale View on 'high' restrictions .

In March 2019 Southern Downs Regional Council moved to 'extreme' restrictions and last month approved instigating 'critical' level measures from 1 September, limiting households to 100 litres of water per person per day.

Cr Dobie said that council was updating its plans for the provision of water for Stanthorpe on a daily basis.