Fitzroy River stops flowing
By FRAZER PEARCE ? WATER restrictions for Rockhampton residents could be triggered earlier than usual due to ongoing concerns with the extremely dry conditions in the area.
Mayor Margaret Strelow yesterday said Rockhampton City Council was investigating new restriction levels and trigger points for the city over the next few months.
She said the barrage was almost full (it holds 81,300ml) but the river had stopped flowing and that was cause for concern due to the relatively low storage in the barrage (the city's annual allocation is 50,000ml) when compared to large dams which supply other regional cities.
She said in the worse case scenario of the city receiving no rain or stream flow residents would face restrictions (under current guidelines) by January 2006.
She said that scenario was extreme but possible.
"In 1969 the river did not flow for nine months,'' she said. "It's not unheard of.''
She said the river had stopped flowing and the council felt that following a poor wet season and three years of low rainfall it was important to respond to the conditions.
She said the council wanted to avoid applying a "knee jerk reaction'' to avoid a water supply crisis.
"We will have to plan to have lesser levels of restrictions at an earlier point if the same (weather) conditions continue,'' she said.