The low levels of Leslie Dam.
The low levels of Leslie Dam. Jodie Locke

Small town takes crown of region's most water wise

TAPS have been turned off across the Southern Downs as residents heed the call for water preservation at all costs.

Every town is now on or below its water consumption target as water use fell significantly in the wake of new, extreme water restrictions imposed by the Southern Downs Regional Council.

The beginning of May saw standpipes limited from 3000 to 2000 litres a week and rural households restricted to buying a maximum of 2000 litres a week.

The largest water consumption was recorded in Yangan by commercial businesses.

In Warwick water use dropped to its lowest point in 13 months, well below the annual average.

During yesterday's council meeting councillor Marika McNichol said Killarney appeared to be doing the best in their water-saving efforts.

"Good result from them,” she said.

Checking water leakages, reading water meters and taking extra measures such as second water tanks have all helped lower usage.

Deputy Mayor Jo McNally told the meeting results showed a greater attention to leaks led to big results.

"Communities and businesses have to be aware of water leakages,” she said.

"Leakages are just water going to waste and we can't afford that.”

While colder temperatures could have contributed to the overall usage drop, consumption is currently far less than average winter usage.

Cr McNichol said numbers showed that if Warwick kept up their good work, the water would last until September 2020.

"If present water usage goes down further it will last even longer,” she said.

Mayor Tracy Dobie told councillors larger towns such as Warwick and Stanthorpe would have to take on the supply of rural residents as well.

"There are large numbers of people in the rural sector that will need to buy water in times of severe drought,” she said.

As skies remained clear, the councillors turned their attention towards water security plans.

Cr McNichol told the council it was important for the community to "have a hold on what's going on”.

"We're getting funding, looking for leakages, resolving them and checking pressure management to ensure it's correct.”

"This will save a lot of water going forward.”