South East Queenslanders have continued to maintain “drought like’’ water consumption behaviours six years after the Millennium drought ended.
The annual Water Outlook for South East Queensland, released today by the region’s water suppliers, shows water consumption levels remain slightly above half pre-drought levels.
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said a combination of high dam levels across the region and the ongoing lower than expected consumption meant water restrictions were not required this summer.
The drinking water supply capacity of the region’s 12 key dams is currently above 92%.
“Our consumption rates have also remained lower than expected with the average daily water consumption across SEQ in October at 171 litres per person per day,’’ Mr Dennis said.
“From a pre-drought average water consumption rate of 300 litres per person per day, we have now almost halved our level of consumption.’’
Mr Dennis said significant rainfall in February and May this year filled most of the region’s dams.
“The Bureau of Meteorology predicts wetter than average conditions and near average temperatures for South East Queensland during summer. So we are in a good water position heading into the wet season,’’ he said.
The Water Outlook for South East Queensland is published by the SEQ Water Service Providers Partnership and summaries key information about dam water supply levels, water consumption and the weather forecast for the summer months.
The Partnership involves Seqwater, water retailers Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater as well as council-owned water businesses at Redland, Logan and the Gold Coast.
Mr Dennis said Seqwater would continue to closely monitor dam levels, rainfall and the potential consequences of inflows into the dams.
“Due to the nature of the rainfall forecast and the current state of the dams, gated dam releases are possible this summer,” he said.
“Residents can be notified of dam releases or when an un-gated dam is spilling, by subscribing to Seqwater’s Dam Release Notification service.
This service has been improved to include earlier and additional notifications of dam releases from gated dams.”
Mr Dennis said Seqwater worked with its water service provider partners to ensure the network was well prepared to manage extreme weather events or other changing circumstances.
“Severe weather events can cause unexpected disruptions or affect your water supply. The water service provider partners have been busy making sure our network is as resilient as it can be,” he said.
“Together we have completed a series of planning, testing and communication activities to refine and strengthen our response to incidents and emergencies resulting from severe weather.
Two new Emergency Operations Centres have also been established in Brisbane and Ipswich to better coordinate emergency responses.
“We are continually working hard to make our water supply system the best that it can be.”
To discover more about the Water Service Providers Partnership’ work, view the Water Outlook for South East Queensland at www.seqwater.com.au/about/publications.