Wivenhoe Dam reaches 51.9 per cent capacity.
Wivenhoe Dam reaches 51.9 per cent capacity. David Nielsen

Ipswich prepares for drought response as dam levels drop

IPSWICH is far from day zero according to SEQWater, but residents have been urged to be water wise as dam levels continue to drop.

Speaking at a State Government forum in Karalee this week, SEQWater external relations manager Mike Foster said dams have reached their lowest levels in ten years.

"Our combined weir and dam levels across the region are sitting at 63 per cent capacity, so that's the lowest those dam levels have been for a decade, since the millennium drought," Mr Foster said.

However, access to the water grid should delay the need for water restrictions.

The South East Queensland Water Security Program was developed in 2014 to provide drinking water over the next 30 years, including during times of drought and flood.

"We have the desalination plant on the Gold Coast and we have the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, both of these are critical assets to drought response," Mr Foster said.

A drought response is usually triggered when the combined level reaches 60 per cent.

Residents would then be encouraged to target 150 litres of water consumption per person per day.

Mandatory region-wide water restrictions would be introduced when levels drop to below 50 per cent capacity, where residents would then be asked to target 140 litres per person per day.

The average daily residential consumption for South East Queeenslanders at the start of September was 206 litres per person per day.

At 11am yesterday, Wivenhoe Dam was at 51.9 per cent capacity.

If the region was faced with serious drought and levels dropped to 40 per cent, recycled water would then be incorporated into the grid.

"That amount of water would certainly allow us to manage a drought," he said.