Plans to secure Maleny's water supply
  • Thursday 03 December 2009

Water will be trucked to Maleny to supplement its dwindling supplies after poor November rainfall and above average water consumption caused the town’s weirs to drop significantly.

While two months water supply is available, the second phase of a contingency plan will commence today to secure Maleny’s water supply.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC) Mayor Bob Abbot action was being taken now in case traditional summer rains fail to eventuate.

“Our first response was asking the people of Maleny to use less than 200 litres per person a day, but with consumption creeping above that and no rain we are moving to trucking water up from both Landers Shute Water Treatment Plant Baroon Pocket Dam,” Cr Abbott said.

The action plan has been developed in consultation with the dam owner Seqwater and the body responsible for regional water security, the Queensland Water Commission.

The Commission’s Acting Executive Director Dan Spiller said early action was being taken well before the emergency response trigger when the weir level drops to 500 mm below the spillway.

Currently the level of Kings Lane Reservoir is 200 mm below the crest.

“Maleny’s water security is our priority so we are getting in early with a small response to ensure we are ready to quickly ramp up emergency supplies if the summer rains fail,” Mr Spiller said.

“Residents need to help us too, by continuing to watch their water use and getting average individual consumption back down under 200 litres after it went up to 222 last week.”

Cr Abbot said he had hoped the voluntary cut to water consumption would be enough to get the town through to the traditional summer wet season.

“I urge every resident to watch every drop, use their four-minute shower timers and keep to the 200 litre target under Permanent Water Conservation Measures now in force at Maleny,” he said.

To start with, there will be four or five tanker loads of water this week (up to 11,000 litres in each tanker) trucked to Maleny.

“We are starting the process now to make sure everything is running smoothly for a full-scale response should we need it,” Mr Spiller said.

“That of course depends on whether we get summer rains and on how much the community saves in the next two months.

The South East has recorded half the average November rainfall and rainfall in the Maleny catchment of Obi Obi Creek was just 39.2 mm – well below the 140 mm average rainfall for this time of year. As a result Obi Obi Creek flows have been insufficient to keep Maleny Weir full.

SCRC has temporarily closed the Maleny Showgrounds Filling Station, which is a drain on the overall supply and customers have been asked to go to fill stations at Mooloolah, Landsborough, Beerwah or Beerburrum.

Construction of an 8.8km water main from the water treatment plant at Landers Shute to Maleny township will further ensure the water security of the township.

“Next year this problem will no longer exist, as the town will be connected to Landers Shute and the existing weirs supplying the town can be decommissioned,” Cr Abbot said.

For more information on Permanent Water Conservation Measures and water saving tips go to www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au