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Fraser Coast brings in toughest water restrictions in more than a decade

Sunday November 7, 2021 - 19:48 AEDT
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The Fraser Coast Regional Council is imposing water restrictions across Hervey Bay and Maryborough. - ABC

The summer traditions of children cooling off in backyard play pools and on water slides have been banned on the Fraser Coast under the toughest water restrictions in more than a decade.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said rainfall was the lowest on record since April 2020, with Lenthalls Dam now less than half full.

"Council is introducing level 3 water restrictions for the Hervey Bay water supply network for the first time since 2007 to try to reduce daily water use by at least 20 per cent and slow down the reduction of Lenthalls Dam," he said.

"About half our water use is outdoors so that's where the most opportunities are to save water and where restrictions are targeted."

Under the rules, garden sprinklers and irrigation systems are prohibited and cars, boats and pets can only be washed with a bucket.

Hervey Bay gardening enthusiast Janine Blaber said she was hoping for some wet weather to keep her fruit trees alive.

"We moved here five years ago and we haven't seen the tropical rainfall that we were expecting," she said.

"It seems to have gotten drier and drier each year."

Maryborough has been moved to level 2 water restrictions. 

"We appreciate a lot of people take pride in their lawns and gardens, but as a community, we need to work together to save water," Cr Seymour said..

"That means gardens and lawns may not look as good in the months to come, but every drop counts during dry times."

An unexpected population boom during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on the region's water supply.

Director of Water and Waste Services Mark Vanner said council was in the process of developing a new water security strategy.

"[We're] making sure that we're forecasting population growth into the future and providing the relevant infrastructure to service that population," he said.

Wet weather forecast

Deputy mayor Darren Everard said the Bureau of Meteorology was forecasting rain for later this week, which he hoped would bring some reprieve to the region.

"Our good friends at the BOM are telling us that we can expect above average rainfalls here at the Fraser Coast," he said.

 "We are hoping and we are praying that these rainfalls come into our catchment for Lenthalls Dam, and importantly the Mary system as well."


© ABC 2021

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