National attention brings drought aid to the Southern Downs
WATER is flowing into Warwick after more than 4800 litres of drinking water was donated to the region's most parched residents.
The worst drought on record drew the attention of charity GIVIT, who said they were struck by the idea of Australians struggling to find drinking water in 2019.
GIVIT communications officer Caet Young said the organisation wanted to ease the pressure as farmers and their families waited for rain.
"We've heard from charities on the ground about how the drought is becoming a much bigger issue and people are getting increasingly worried about where their water is going to come from," she said.
"It's quite scary to think residents here face the real prospect of turning on a tap and seeing nothing come out. We knew we needed to do something."
Residents struggling to source potable (drinking) water will be able to apply through the Salvation Army to receive a portion of the 13,000 cans delivered to the Warwick council depot.
Givit partnered with Carlton and United Breweries to spring water from the Cascade Brewery in Tasmania that took more than three weeks to get here.
CUB project leader Morgan Leonard said the company had previously reserved their water relief program for acute national disasters such as floods or fires, but changed their policy once they realised how devastating the drought on the Southern Downs had become.
"This is the first drought initiative we've done, but it's really reached a point now that it's becoming quite dire," he said.
"You hear about it on the news but it's hard to really picture it. It's so brown out here, the landscape doesn't look healthy."
The canned water was a logical focus for CUB's efforts as they had ready access to water, canning and transport networks to make the plan a reality.
The cases of water delivered this week are the first in a number of drought relief measures aimed at helping the Southern Downs, according to CUB vice president Julian Sheezel.
"We want to make long-term contributions," Mr Sheezel said.
"We are in talks with the mayor to continue donations (in other ways).
GIVIT will continue to work with Southern Downs charities to source funds and donations.
Ms Young said the organisation had a long list of requests they helped to fulfil on a daily basis, the vast majority of which they sourced locally to ensure the survival of the drought-stricken economy.
Mayor Tracy Dobie said residents were using their water the best they could and the region appreciated the strong levels of support.
"It is heartwarming to see," she said.
One such support system may be the Queensland Government, as Southern Downs Regional Council waits on a response to its submission for water carting funding.
The mayor revealed the cost of carting was estimated to be around $800,000 a month and council requested 100 per cent of funding from the state.
"They said they'll provide support but we're waiting on the final response," Cr Dobie said.
To donate to GIVIT and help the Southern Downs through the drought, visit givit.org.au