General News

5 November, 2022

Be water wise this summer

THE weather is warming up significantly in the Far North and both Mareeba Shire and Tablelands Regional Councils are encouraging residents to be aware of how much water they are using.

By Ellie Fink

Be water wise this summer - feature photo

Currently, Mareeba Shire has no water restrictions in place with the shire’s main water source being the Barron River and Tinaroo Dam.

As of Monday, Tinaroo Dam was at 81.42 per cent capacity, decreasing by 0.92 per cent from Tuesday 25 October’s level of 82.34 per cent.

Even when the dam hit the lowest water level of 23 per cent in 2003, MSC Mayor Angela Top-pin said council was still able to provide water for urban usage with little to no worries but that doesn’t mean locals should stop being mindful about their water usage.

“Water is a precious resource, and although Mareeba Shire currently has no restrictions in

place, we need to conserve this important re-source now and in the future. Council encourages residents to consider their water use habits and look for ways to save water, money and the environment,” she said.

“The Mareeba township’s average water us-age per connection was 949 litres per day for the 12-month period, October 2021 to September 2022. This average usage is what can be expected for a rural town, compared to councils in the southern region who has an average of around 500 litre per day.

“While it is unlikely that water supply would completely diminish, it would be at councils dis-cretion if water restrictions were to be introduced in times of drought.”

TRC has remained on level two water restrictions for quite some time, utilising 15 different water sources to provide to residents in the region, including Tinaroo Dam which supplies Yungaburra.

Atherton, Kairi, Walkamin, Tolga, Wondecla and Tinaroo township’s main water supply is a bore, Bellview estate is supplied by Vine Creek, Cassowary Heights by South Cedar Creek, Herberton by Wild River dam, Johnston River Estate and Peeramon by Johnston River and Malanda by Johnstone River and a variety of bores.

Millaa Millaa’s water is supplied by Beatrice River, Millstream is supplied by the Millstream itself, Mount Garnet by the Herbert River and Ravenshoe by North Cedar Creek.

TRC is still maintaining level two water restrictions to minimise the service distributions and to maintain appropriate levels of consumption as they investigate a more contemporary approach.

Through close monitoring of bores and in-takes using telemetry and meters, council can determine what restrictions need to be put in place to ensure they are conserving water.

TRC residents are being reminded to be cautious of their water usage with general manager Infrastructure and Planning, Mark Vis, saying every step taken to conserve water will help in the future.

“Reducing the amount of water we supply can help to improve the reliability of our water sup-ply schemes, lengthen the life and delay the need to upgrade our water infrastructure, reduce the water being taken from the environment and de-lay the time until alternative supplies are required (and their associated costs),” he said.

“Many of the schemes in our area use well above the accepted average daily household amount of water.

“Reducing our water use is not only good for the environment but it also reduces the amount of water we treat, which in turn reduces the costs and wear on infrastructure.”


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