Water consumption rises as south-east Queensland dam levels drop

Daily water consumption has soared in south-east Queensland despite the severe drought, prompting the early rollout of water conservation campaigns.

Seqwater, which manages almost 90 per cent of south-east Queensland’s water supply across 12 dams, reported that daily water consumption had topped 220 litres per person.

That’s more than 40 litres higher than the same time last year, when average water consumption per person was at 188 litres.

water_glassThe combined total of all of Seqwater’s dams has fallen below 60 per cent, now sitting on 59.7 per cent, with Wivenhoe Dam at 47.8 per cent.

Across the region, Gold Coast City Council consumers are using the most water per day, with 233 litres per person, closely followed by Redland City Council.

In a joint statement on Sunday night, Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham urged residents to be careful with water consumption.

It follows a survey from Seqwater that revealed 35 per cent of people didn’t know how much water they had used.

“We are reaching out to everyone in the south-east to ease back on their water usage with the ‘every drop counts’ campaign,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Two-thirds of our state is in drought and over the past few years we have seen below-average inflows into the 40 dams and reservoirs that make up the SEQ water grid.”

Of the 1400 people surveyed by Seqwater, 70 per cent said they were concerned about future water shortages and 90 per cent would adjust to water restrictions if necessary.

Ms Palaszczuk said south-east Queenslanders “stepped up” during the Millennium Drought and reduced consumption to 120 litres per person per day.

Dr Lynham said the state government was joining with Seqwater to promote its waterwise campaign earlier than would be typical in such drought circumstances, to ensure residents had the information needed.

The “every drop counts” campaign will roll out on radio and social media in the days to come.

Originally published by the Brisbane Times, 25 November 2019.