Councils combine to combat water crisis

A new campaign urging families to practice waterwise habits that are passed down from generation to generation, such as turning off the tap when brushing teeth, was rolled out in August.

Comprising TV and radio commercials, print advertisements and social media, the campaign unites Toowoomba, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Goondiwindi and South Burnett Regional Councils, plus the Queensland State Government, to create and fund the effort.

Southern Downs Mayor, Tracy Dobie, said the campaign message was simple.

“We are urging residents to embrace simple water-saving measures to support our community, as well as encouraging local businesses to manage water effectively.

“It’s fitting the television commercial was shot here in Stanthorpe, featuring local residents, as the storages that service the town are reaching a very low level.

“Bringing together the State Government and all five councils in our region to spread this vital message is unprecedented, and we thank all involved for backing this initiative.”

While all five councils are facing water shortages of varying degrees – Goondiwindi last month moved to ‘level two’ restrictions and Toowoomba has nine towns on ‘medium’ and one (Vale View) on ‘high’ restrictions – Southern Downs, and Stanthorpe in particular, are facing the most acute shortages.

In March 2019 the council moved to ‘extreme’ restrictions and last month approved instigating ‘critical’ level measures from 1 September, limiting households to 100 litres of water per person per day.

“Council is daily updating its plans for the provision of water for Stanthorpe but in the meantime, I urge you to continue visiting the town and beautiful surrounding regions,” Mayor Dobie said.

“The support of visitors, particularly our fellow Queenslanders, is so vital during this tough time.”

Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Councillor, Nancy Sommerfield, said the region’s councils would look for further ways to work together beyond the life of the campaign.