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  • Sam Davis

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    Water restrictions in place for Cairns

    Dry weather has forced Cairns Regional Council to place limits on water usage.

    Cairns Regional Council is calling on residents to reduce water use, with level one water restrictions to be implemented from 9am tomorrow.

    Ongoing dry weather has led to the mandatory Level one restrictions which apply to all households and businesses for the whole of the Cairns Regional Council area.

    Mayor Bob Manning says the water level at Copperlode Falls Dam had dropped to 78 per cent, which is below the trigger point for restrictions.

    “We’ve have had a very hot, very dry spell of weather than has taken its toll on our water supplies and caused a spike in water use,” Cr Manning says.

    “While we do still expect to get an average wet season, we need to be prepared for any outcome.

    “That means implementing water restrictions now to conserve our supply in case the predicted rain doesn’t arrive.”

    While Level 1 water restrictions relate predominantly to sprinkler use, Cr Manning says residents can help reduce demand on water supplies.

    “We can all help to conserve the supplies that we have by cutting back on our water use wherever possible,” he says.

    “Every little bit of saved water helps, so it makes sense to take notice of where you are using water – be it in the kitchen, the laundry, the bathroom or the garden – and consider whether you can cut back.”

    Recent water consumption has been as high as 472 litres per person, per day.

    By introducing Level 1 water restrictions, Council aims to achieve a 10 per cent reduction to lower consumption to 425 litres per day.

    “If your car is a little dustier than usual, I’m sure no one is going to hold it against you,” Cr Manning says. “But if you really do need to wash your car, try to get to a carwash that recycles its water, or wash it on your lawn using a bucket and hose with a trigger nozzle.

    “We also ask that businesses think about their water use – are you letting taps run when you don’t need to? Do you have water-efficient appliances?

    Without significant rainfall soon, Council says more severe water restrictions could be implemented in coming weeks. 

    Under Level 1 water restrictions:

    • · Sprinklers may be used only between the hours of 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm
    • · Odd-numbered properties (ie street number ending with 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) are permitted to use sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only.
    • · Even-numbered properties (number ending with 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) may use sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only
    • · No sprinkler use is permitted on Mondays.
    • · Hand-held hoses with a trigger nozzle, watering cans and buckets can be used at any time.

    Homes using bore water for their sprinkler system are  asked have up-to-date signage on display stating ‘bore water in use’.

    Some restrictions apply to hosing of paved areas, filling of private swimming pools, ponds and tanks.

    Download the free Survive and Thrive app to stay up-to-date with water restriction information and for tips on how to help your garden through the dry weather.