PLAY IT SAFE: Hand washing must be frequent and thorough to prevent the spread of the disease.
PLAY IT SAFE: Hand washing must be frequent and thorough to prevent the spread of the disease.

Disease demands more water, says QLD Health

HEALTH concerns for Southern Downs residents prompted a last-minute change to water restrictions this week, allowing the community to use an additional 20L per person, each day.

The decision comes as 94 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in Queensland.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said she'd heard from a number of concerned residents seeking a greater water allowance in the wake of Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy's televised endorsement of handwashing to stop the spread.

"That is what this increase is aimed at," she said.

Restrictions changed from 100L per person, per day, to 120L per person, per day.

Council made the decision in conjunction with the Department of Health and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy who determined the increase based on the amount of water needed for healthy hygiene.

Prior to the pandemic announcement, the Southern Downs Regional Council stated water restrictions would not be relaxed beyond critical level until Stanthorpe had a six-month supply of water and carting was no longer needed.

The exceptional circumstance of a global pandemic changed those plans.

Recent rains boosted dam levels and Leslie Dam has 100 per cent of its town allocation available, Connolly Dam is at 88 per cent capacity and Storm King Dam "has around four months of supply."

For this reason, the mayor predicts carting will be able to continue without issue.

"It will become more evident over the next few days as to how much people adjust their water usage as to how the carting will manage."

Water allowances have increased due to coronavirus fears.
Water allowances have increased due to coronavirus fears.