THE recent rain event in southeast Queensland has injected an extra 86,000 million litres of water into the region’s drinking water supply.
The deluge caused the combined storage levels of the Grid 12 – the 12 key dams that make up nearly 90 percent of the southeast’s drinking water supply – to increase by 4 percent to 75 percent.
That’s 86,000 million litres or three and a half months worth of drinking water added to the system.
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Minister for Water Supply Mark Bailey said the drenching had delayed the need to implement the region’s drought readiness phase which is triggered when dams hit 70 percent.
But Mr Bailey said it was still important for residents to be waterwise, particularly on the Sunshine Coast.
“While the Sunshine Coast’s largest dam, Lake Baroon, received its second largest increase in two years, it was still just above 60% capacity,” Mr Bailey said.
“Seqwater will continue to operate the Water Grid to supplement Sunshine Coast supply from Brisbane and take the pressure off Lake Baroon.
“The rainfall has certainly filled rainwater tanks and given gardens and lawns a much-needed drenching which should allow all of us to reduce our outdoor water use over the next couple of weeks.”
Mr Bailey said that because of the record dry winter and hot start to spring, most of the initial rain was needed to saturate the ground before inflows started into dams.
“While we have seen very large rainfall, particularly on the Sunshine Coast, the dry conditions of our catchments meant the most of the early rain was needed just to wet the catchments enough for inflows to start,’’ he said.
“This has been a good boost to our dams ahead of summer, but we will need further rainfall to get our drinking water dams back to 100% capacity.”
The region’s largest dams also received a boost in supply, with Wivenhoe Dam increasing by two percent, Somerset Dam by six percent and North Pine Dam by five.
Across the region, eight dams are now spilling, with another seven recording water levels above 90%.