DRY JULY: Map shows dry month between August 1 and September 1 with much of Central Queensland expected to record less than 10mm.
DRY JULY: Map shows dry month between August 1 and September 1 with much of Central Queensland expected to record less than 10mm. Contributed

DRY JULY: CQ towns record 0mm of rain for the month of July

DRY July has finished for many looking give up the grog for a month but the whole Central Queensland region has just wrapped an involuntarily dry July of its own.

Rockhampton, Emerald, Collinsville, Moranbah and Longreach are among a long list of Bureau of Meteorology outpost in Central Queensland to have not recorded a single drop of rain since July 1.

The average rainfall for BoM's Central Coast recording region which spans from Hinchinbrook Island in the North, Hughenden in the West and just below Springsure to the south is just over 1mm for the month.

One local community that is no stranger to the dry winter conditions is The Central Highlands Region.

Queensland Government map depicting the state of drought on Queensland
Queensland Government map depicting the state of drought on Queensland Queensland Government

Mayor Kerry Hayes said that despite nil rainfall recorded in Emerald, there had been "patchy” rainfall across his region which will have varying effects on grain growers throughout the region.

"We are generally used to, and prepared for low rainfall totals through July and August,” he said.

"We are expecting a moderate to low yield this season and that is a result of patchy rain across the region.”

CHRC Mayor Kerry Hayes.
CHRC Mayor Kerry Hayes. Contributed

Mr Hayes said Central Highland's water storage levels were steady as it stands, but held some concerns for the dry august ahead.

He said if the dry conditions continued, the region may have to reassess it's water restrictions come spring.

Water storage levels through Central Queensland are also hitting troublesome lows.

Mount Morgan currently faces imminent water restrictions as the No. 7 dam draws precariously close to the 40 per cent.

Fitzroy River Water's Acting General Manager Regional Services Jason Plumb told a Rockhampton Council committee meeting he believed Mt Morgan may be put on level two water restrictions within the month.

He said conditions were not likely to improve.

Mt Morgan's No.7 Dam during better times. The dam is now approaching 40 per cent capacity.
Mt Morgan's No.7 Dam during better times. The dam is now approaching 40 per cent capacity.

Residents have already been on level one restrictions since May 20 after the dam dropped below 50 per cent.

Sunwater which operated Fairbairn and Callide Dams in Central Queensland said the company understood the pressure the dry conditions would be having on the people reliant on the water.

"(We) continue to communicate with our customers regularly regarding water use and projected future water availability,” a Spokesperson said.

"We are committed to delivering water in a way that minimises loss and maximises availability.”

Fairbairn Dam currently sits on 18.44 per cent and the Callide Dam is at 47.91 per cent.

Fairbairn Dam taken in August from above. When it is full it is three times the size of Sydney Harbour.
Fairbairn Dam taken in August from above. When it is full it is three times the size of Sydney Harbour. Lake Maraboon Holiday Village.

Sunwater said the company was expecting inflows to begin again in late winter or early spring.

"We remain hopeful that there will be late-winter, early-spring, inflows into water storages across Queensland to increase water levels and provide ongoing water security and business confidence for our customers and the local community.

"According to Sunwater's online water storage forecast tool, if there are average monthly inflows over the spring and summer period, both dams are expected to experience moderate volume increases.”

Sunwater and Central Highlands Regional Council are currently working together on light and radar surveys at Fairbairn Dam and Selma Weir to confirm the available water supply in the event of continuing drought conditions among other community awareness steps.

Weatherzone.com rainfall records show the last time Rockhampton recorded no rain during July was in 2002.

BoM long range forcast maps show a dry August with much of Central Queensland unlikely to record 10mm for the month.



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