THE BIG DRY: We're using far more water than we should.
THE BIG DRY: We're using far more water than we should. Contributed

WATER UPDATE: Big wasters push towns closer to emergency

Welcome to the Warwick Daily News' Water Update. Each month we will bring a comprehensive overview of the latest information on the drought ravaging the region, with a detailed look into contingency plans, water use and the impact on our communities.


EXPECT fines to trickle in as water compliance officers crack down on Warwick's biggest wasters.

The top 100 residential water users were investigated this month by the Southern Downs Regional Council, with eight compliance notices issued and fines expected to follow.

The warnings were effective in some cases, leading to over 21 megalitres saved from high users over the last two months.

Those savings will buy the region another week of time as residents wait for rain to fall.

Mayor Tracy Dobie said the officers had been "incredibly considerate" with the high level water users.

"They've been given every opportunity to reduce their water use," she said.

As these residents pour liquid gold down our drains, SDRC has begun to evaluate when to implement emergency water restrictions, which would limit daily use to 90 litres per person.

Dam surveys, due to be completed June 30, will enable local government to predict when the difficult measures will be introduced.

Wallangarra and Allora are the only towns currently adhering to the current water restriction target of 120 litres per person, per day.

Most recent usage reports show Pratten had the highest monthly residential daily consumption, while water use increased between April and May for Warwick, Wallangarra, Allora and Leyburn.

The only two towns to show a steady slowing of water use were Dalveen and Killarney, where the average consumption per month, per household, has been falling since March.

At 32 per cent capacity Stanthorpe now has eight months remaining of water supply from Storm King Dam, expecting to run out by January 2020.

Leslie and Connolly Dams have 16 months remaining of water supply, currently sitting at 6.64 per cent and 42.8 per cent, respectively.