Why this town is already being asked to start saving water
RESIDENTS of a small Somerset town have been told to start looking for ways to save water, with reduced flow in their creek meaning they now have a finite supply.
With winter traditionally a drier part of the year, Urban Utilities are asking locals in Jimna to start looking at ways to reduce their water usage around their homes and gardens.
Unlike most towns in the region, Jimna is not connected to the Seqwater grid and instead relies on water sourced from a reservoir called the “Big Hole”, via the nearby Yabba Creek.
Seqwater, which is responsible for monitoring water flows and levels in Yabba Creek, recently advised that water had stopped flowing over the weir and into the “Big Hole”.
It means there is now a finite amount of water available, with no new water likely to be introduced to the “Big Hole” until there is significant enough rainfall to get the creek flowing over the weir again.
Urban Utilities says water restrictions are not necessary for Jimna at this stage, but proactive steps should be taken to encourage a continued focus on water saving.
During the start of summer, Seqwater had considered the option of supplementing the “Big Hole’s” dwindling water supply with tankers, and the option may be on the table again later in the year.
The “Big Hole” isn’t the only area suffering from reduced water levels, with the overall Seqwater combined dam levels 4 per cent lower than they were this time last year, with Wivenhoe Dam already almost 10 per cent below where it was at this point in 2019.
The low water levels come despite the dam being supplemented by additional water from the Gold Coast desalination plant, and additional water being moved in from Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast dams.
With more people staying at home, daily water usage has risen by an average of 10 litres a day, putting further strain on supplies, which have failed to recover from repeated dry years.
“We are continuing to optimise the operation of the SEQ water grid to best preserve our larger water storages, including Wivenhoe Dam, but we need to the community’s help to slow the drawdown on our dams,’’ Seqwater chief executive Neil Brennan said.
“For many of us, staying at home may mean more time tending to gardens and lawns, but it’s important to still be water wise by watering before 8am or after 4pm – out of the heat of the day when evaporation is at its highest.”
If the combined water grid level – currently at 66 per cent – drops to or below 60 per cent, a drought response plan will be brought into effect, although water restrictions will not be necessary until the water grid is below 50 per cent.