BILOELA residents could soon be swapping garden hoses for buckets as the town’s water crisis deepens.
Central Telegraph can reveal that Banana Shire Council is already tapping into the town’s final water reserves – 400 megalitres of water provided by CS Energy as part of an infrastructure agreement with the council.
This is water has to last until June 30, but with water usage in the town up over the past few weeks, it is unlikely the water will last past April.
Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper said he was gravely concerned about Biloela’s water predicament and on Monday pushed for Level 5 water restrictions to be introduced.
“During July-September the town was using about 79.9ML a month and this has probably increased over the hotter months,” Cr Hooper said.
“We started using the water from CS Energy on December 1; this is the last source of water we have available to us.
“After this we have to consider pumping extra water from Awoonga Dam and that is extremely expensive.”
Cr Hooper wanted the use of hoses banned with the watering of gardens only permitted by buckets.
However, he failed to get support from any other councillors.
Cr Warren Middleton said the council had an agreement with SunWater and the Department of Environment and Resource Management to review current water restrictions at the end of January.
“Given that we have that arrangement with those organisations I think it best to wait until then.”
Residents on the Biloela town water supply, which includes Thangool and Callide Dam Village are using about 248 litres of water a person a day.
The current water target in south-east Queensland is 200 litres a person and this is despite the fact that their dams are holding over 70% of capacity.
Cr Hooper said at its worst Brisbane residents were limited to 140 litres and given Biloela’s dire situation he could see no reason why a similar target should not be set here.
Banana Shire does not have daily water targets.