Mount Morgan water restrictions upgraded to level six
Mount Morgan residents have been upgraded to level six water restrictions – the highest level used by Rockhampton Regional Council.
As rain has seemingly fallen everywhere except the Dee River catchment in the last year and more hot, dry weather is predicted, the council department Fitzroy River Water recommended to move into the strict restriction.
The target consumption of level six is 0.8ML per day on average.
Restrictions first began in September 2019 with level one.
Level five water restrictions were introduced in December 2020 and since that time there has been limited rainfall and significant evaporation losses.
The latest data reveals the dam storage level is at 9.5 per cent of the full capacity.
When full, the dam holds more than two years of water supply.
Bad falls were recorded from 2003-04 to 2007-08 and the dam reached approximately three per cent.
The council will now assess the feasibility of this in readiness for implementation if recorded.
The report also states council are looking at opportunities to secure the township’s water supply security.
Opportunities include new water storages constructed, pipelines to augment supply to Mount Morgan, making safe use of the abundant water supply in the mine pit and the potential for a pumped hydro-electric scheme.
Consultation with the Mount Morgan community on these options is expected to commence within the next couple of months.
The Mount Morgan community has been congratulated on their continued waterwise behaviour with average annual residential water usage per property in Mount Morgan almost 50 per cent lower than that in Rockhampton in recent years.
“We understand it’s been an incredibly tough year for the Mount Morgan community, and I cannot praise their water wise behaviour highly enough,” Water and Supporting a Better Environment Councillor Donna Kirkland said.
“Without a doubt they have extended the time that the dam can continue to supply the community.
“The purpose of Level 6 restrictions is to keep daily usage under 0.8 ML, and ordinarily Level 6 restrictions would mean residents are no longer able to water private gardens unless they are using rain or recycled water.
“However, daily usage is already under 0.8 ML we have taken the decision for current gardening restrictions to remain, allowing the watering of gardens to continue.
“The calling of Level 6 is to heighten residents’ stewardship of their water usage, it is imperative that daily usage continues to be limited as much as possible.
“We will need to review this if water usage goes up or the dam level falls again, but I am hopeful it’s something we can continue for as long as possible.”
Divisional Councillor Cherie Rutherford said she was pleased watering of private gardens would be able to continue for now.
“As we approached Level 6 restrictions I was really concerned that the impact of stopping watering of gardens would have on the community, especially given the continued hot weather.”
“Residents have worked so hard to keep plants and veggie patches alive despite the hot dry weather, and to say watering would no longer be possible would have been very tough.
“I’d also like to remind everyone that there are no limits on using rainwater, bore or recycled water in your garden, so I encourage residents to use these options as much as possible if available. Water conservation is vital at this time and council has a water wise fact sheet on its website should you need any advice in this regard.”
Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said other work to support Mount Morgan was ongoing.
“We have recently carried out tanker trials to make sure all of the logistics are in place should we need to start trucking water up in future, and we will be holding a public meeting later this month to provide an update.
“Once again I want to make it very clear that residents will not be left without access to safe water, and we are continuing to explore options to improve the long term water security in Mount Morgan.”
The new level six water restrictions will be effective from Monday, March 15.
All Mount Morgan residents will have a letter and a fact sheet delivered to them in the coming days.
Information is also available at www.rrc.qld.gov.au/mountmorganwater.