Seqwater expands its dam release communication service

Seqwater has welcomed the Inspector-General of Emergency Management (IGEM)’s final report on flood communications and warnings for South East Queensland.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the IGEM review was an opportunity to further improve Seqwater’s dam release communications.

Mr Dennis said Seqwater had implemented changes to provide the community with earlier and additional notifications of dam releases from gated dams.

“Our aim is to provide the earliest possible advice that a forecast weather event may result in dam releases.’'

Seqwater’s updated dam release communication service includes:

  • A subscriber-based alert system which offers email, SMS or voice to landline notifications. This service has been expanded to include earlier and additional notifications
  • Annual promotion of the subscriber-based service ahead of each wet season
  • Updated website advice and 1800 number during dam release events
  • Regular media/social media updates during dam release events.

Seqwater also supports the IGEM recommendations to work collaboratively with Local Disaster Management Groups (LDMGs) in relation to dam notification and warnings and more generally with local councils on community education and information programs.

Specifically, Seqwater will continue to work closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in relation to dam emergency and evacuation procedures and with LDMGs to reaffirm communication roles and responsibilities.

Seqwater encourages the community to register for its dam release notification service ahead of the 2015-16 wet season.

For more detailed information or to register for Seqwater’s dam release notification service go to www.seqwater.com.au.

 

Seqwater delivers projects to protect koala habitat

Hundreds of hectares of core koala habitat are now better protected due to enhancement projects recently completed by Seqwater.

The work, undertaken within nature refuges at North Pine Dam, Leslie Harrison Dam and Mount Crosby Weir, was jointly funded by Seqwater and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said a partnership between the organisations had been formed in 2011, enabling the improvement of koala habitat on Seqwater land.

“Nature Refuge Conservation Agreements place a formal covenant over land to protect biological diversity. Seqwater has six nature refuges across South East Queensland spanning almost 10,000 hectares,” Mr Dennis said.

“The agreements give landholders the means to protect the conservation values of the land. The agreements also provide protection against a future land use which may compromise the drinking water storage buffer zone, which protects our precious water reserves.

“Our habitat enhancement projects have resulted in 86 hectares of land planted for koalas and 170 hectares of weeds controlled in high priority koala habitat.”

Mr Dennis said the projects had been delivered by contractors along with operational staff.

“Seqwater is committed to working collaboratively with partners such as the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to improve environmental outcomes across our catchments.”

Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said that nature refuges were a great example of the conservation outcomes that could be achieved when the State Government partnered with landholders to protect important ecosystems and native species on private lands in Queensland.

“Collaborating with private organisations and individuals is vital to enhance and enlarge Queensland’s protected area estate.”

Dr Miles said EHP was delighted to partner with Seqwater to protect koalas and koala habitat.

“The Queensland Government has provided $385,043 of funding for these projects.

“In partnership, we’ve revegetated 86 hectares of koala habitat, we’ve restored a further 170 hectares of koala habitat through targeted weed control, and we’ve eradicated over 100 wild dogs and foxes from within the nature refuges.”

Dr Miles said that since 1994, 497 nature refuge agreements had been established protecting more than 4 million hectares of high value conservation land.

 

Caboolture students play it safe on Weir Safety Day

Don’t get sucked in – swimming around weirs is dangerous.

Caboolture State High School students this week learned of the potentially fatal consequences of swimming around weirs as part of Seqwater’s annual Weir Safety Day.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the day, held on Thursday, highlighted the dangers associated with swimming in fast flowing water.

“Across South East Queensland we manage 51 weirs, large walls which hold back river water so it can be released slowly downstream,” Mr Dennis said.

“While weirs are designed to regulate water flow, they can become dangerous and unpredictable as you never know when water will be released or from which part of the weir.”

Seqwater, Swift Water Rescue and Hannah’s Foundation highlighted the dangers of swimming near weirs to around 300 Year 8 Caboolture State High School students at a special presentation at the school.

“While you may think you are a good swimmer, it only takes ankle deep water to knock you off your feet and just 60 seconds to drown,” Mr Dennis said.

“During periods of heavy rain, the increased water volume and pressure of a weir can force people underwater – making rescue almost impossible.

“Please don’t get sucked in by friends who may think it is ok to swim near a weir. This isn’t permitted and it certainly isn’t safe.”

Mr Dennis said Weir Safety Day was part of Seqwater’s Play it safe campaign, which encouraged the community to take responsibility for their own safety when visiting the region’s lakes.

“We have a number of designated swimming areas at our lakes which allow visitors to enjoy the water away from boats and paddle craft. Discover which lakes permit swimming via our interactive map on the Seqwater website,” he said.

“And always consider your safety when visiting our lakes or other assets.”

 

Recreation update

 

Temporary closure of O'Shea's Crossing at Lake Wivenhoe

O’Shea’s Crossing at Lake Wivenhoe is temporarily closed to paddle craft access due to the detection of blue-green algae.

Signage has been placed at the site to advise community members.

Blue-green algae blooms generally occur in the warmer months due to increased water temperature and optimal light conditions.

Seqwater is closely monitoring algae levels and will re-open the closed recreation area to water-based activities when levels fall to within acceptable limits.

Further information on blue-green algae can be found in Seqwater’s fact sheet at www.seqwater.com.au/about/publications/fact-sheets

 

Trails at Lake Wyaralong temporarily closed

As a result of recent rainfall in the area, the trails at Lake Wyaralong are temporarily closed until further notice.

Please play it safe when visiting the area. We will reopen the trails when conditions improve, and it is safe to do so.

 

Lake Atkinson swimming area closed until further notice

The swimming area at Lake Atkinson remains temporarily closed due to the low water level in the lake.

Please play it safe and follow all signage and the directions of Seqwater staff. We will re-open the swimming area as soon as possible.

 

SEQ dam levels

The current drinking water supply capacity of the Grid Twelve is 93.3%, which is the same volume as last week. The Grid Twelve makes up nearly 90% of South East Queensland’s total water storage volume. See below for further breakdowns:

Dam

Current drinking water volume

Change in volume past 7 days

(%)

Catchment rainfall past 7 days

(mm)*

(ML)

(%)

Wivenhoe

1,081,557 ML

92.8%

No change

33.8

Somerset

379,975 ML

100.0%

0.2 %

35.9

North Pine

169,684 ML

87.8%

0.2 %

47.8

Hinze

296,500 ML

95.4%

No change

67.4

Baroon Pocket

49,925 ML

81.8%

0.9 %

23.1

Leslie Harrison**

11,817 ML

89.5%

0.5 %

45.3

Ewen Maddock

16,371 ML

98.7%

0.9 %

6.2

Cooloolabin

7,316 ML

52.9%

0.8 %

13.1

Lake Kurwongbah

8,724 ML

60.7%

No change

35.6

Lake Macdonald

8,018 ML

100.0%

0.6 %

3.2

Little Nerang

6,106 ML

91.1%

2.0 %

67.4

Wappa

4,710 ML

100.3%

No change

13.1

* Catchment rainfall is the average of rainfalls recorded in and around the dam catchment.

** The capacity of Leslie Harrison Dam temporarily decreased from 24,868ML to 13,206ML in August 2014.

 

The current flood storage capacity:

Dam

Current flood storage volume

Available storage
(%)

Wivenhoe

1,967,000 ML

100%

Somerset

721,000 ML

100%

 

SEQ water consumption figures

Average daily residential water consumption across South East Queensland for the 14 day period ending 4 November 2015 was 163 litres per person. This is a decrease on the average for the previous period of 171 litres per person (calculated over 14 days ending 28 October 2015).

Average daily residential water consumption for a similar time last year was 191 litres per person. Across South East Queensland, residents are currently consuming about 28 litres per person per day less than they did this time last year.

See below for further breakdowns:

Water consumption summary for the 14 day period ending Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Zone

SEQ

Central
SEQ

Gold
Coast

Redland

Scenic
Rim

Sunshine Coast

Average daily production (ML)

782

507

159

35

4.8

77

Average daily residential consumption (L/person)

163

155

187

175

117

165

Total rainfall (mm)

 

56.8

30.4

56.8

59.6

35.0

Temperature oC

 

26.9

26.1

25.6

28.1

26.6

 

Residential water consumption for similar time last year (14 day period ending Wednesday 5 November 2014)

Zone

SEQ

Central
SEQ

Gold
Coast

Redland

Scenic
Rim

Sunshine Coast

Average daily residential consumption (L/person)

191

176

218

251

227

210