Australian news, and some related international items

(Officially no climate change in Australia) but Queensland towns are running out of water

Queensland towns face million-dollar water-carting bills if rain stays away, Brisbane Times, By Tony Moore

July 29, 2019 Six regional Queensland towns, including the large centres of Stanthorpe and Warwick, have either begun or will soon begin carting drinking water as the state’s drought worsens.

More than 65 per cent of Queensland, including Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim councils on Brisbane’s doorstep, is drought-declared.

The worst case is Stanthorpe, one of Queensland’s premier tourism and wine regions, in the Southern Downs Regional Council area.

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said Stanthorpe was on track to run out of water by Christmas, leaving ratepayers with a hefty bill to cart water from Warwick. “We are estimating something between half a million dollars to a million dollars per month just to cart water,” she said.

“That is a sizeable chunk for a regional council with 19,000 ratepayers and an annual budget of $70 million.”

Warwick would run out of water by December 2020 if it did not receive significant rainfall over summer, Cr Dobie said.

“The Warwick situation is worse than Stanthorpe,” she said.

“We can truck water [to Stanthorpe] from Warwick because there is only 5000 customers, however there are 15,000 people in Warwick and we can’t truck [that much] water.

“The only way we can do it, if it doesn’t rain, is establishing new bores and pumping.” In the Toowoomba Regional Council area, water is being carted to Cecil Downs, while water has also been carted to Hodgson Vale, Cambooya and Clifton as bores run dry.

Ipswich and Lockyer Valley councils are close to carting water to some regional areas, but at this stage are meeting water demand from dam supplies.

There are as yet no water restrictions on south-east Queensland homes.

Over the Great Dividing Range, regions face extreme water restrictions.

Stanthorpe and Warwick residents already face “extreme-level” water restrictions of 120 litres per person a day, the same as Brisbane during the drought of 2008.  Cr Dobie said the cost of carting water was significant for smaller councils.

“We have these councils west of the Great Dividing Range and in New South Wales that have really small rate bases and don’t have the money to build their own infrastructure,” she said.

“Local governments don’t have any money to invest in infrastructure and state and federal governments don’t have the will to invest in infrastructure because we only have a small number of ratepayers or taxpayers.”……..

July 30, 2019 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: