WATER SHORTAGE: Bjelke-Petersen Dam levels continue to drop. Photo: File
WATER SHORTAGE: Bjelke-Petersen Dam levels continue to drop. Photo: File

LOOMING CRISIS: Council addresses water supply

SOUTH Burnett's dams are now below a combined 50 per cent capacity, making water a hot topic for discussion at the January South Burnett Regional Council meeting.

Gordonbrook Dam has dipped to 47 per cent capacity, Boodooma Dam is at 22.9 per cent, and Boodir Dam is at 19 per cent.

Bjelke-Petersen Dam came in with the lowest reading, a shocking 3.6 per cent capacity, which is the lowest level the dam's recorded since 2007.

During the council meeting, Mayor Keith Campbell said other ways of sourcing water would need to be considered if the region didn't receive a substantial amount of rain soon.

"There is a need for us to be on the front foot in relation to the issue of water," Cr Campbell said.

"Water is a precious commodity for us, especially rural landholders who are running out of water.

"Their dams are empty, there are pot holes on the road reserves and road merges where some, well one in particular, that farmers and graziers are drawing water from.

"If we don't get rain, for example, and if this drought continues on, it will become absolutely imperative that we try and find water.

"I did mention that back in the days of Kingaroy Shire Council, they went drilling for water out on the Kingaroy/Cooyar Rd and seemed to recollect.

"Water was discovered and the bore was capped."

Council's general manager Aaron Meehan said all options were being considered as the region faced a potentially dire water security situation.

"We are consistently assessing the current water situation," Mr Meehan said.

"The outlook is drawing serious attention.

"We are investigating other contingencies.

"One of the biggest things for us is to continue to work with our provider, which is Sunwater, to make sure we can project what our forecast is and work with other water suppliers.

"Water tankers have investigated a number of options to ensure our security and also investigate us so we can perform the best we can."

Sunwater has announced the allocation provided was currently 100 per cent of council's high-priority water but this was expected to be cut if the summer rain did not eventuate, bringing substantial dam storage increases.

If allocations are reduced, council will review the current level-three water restrictions in place across the South Burnett region.