Fairbairn Dam has fallen to its lowest level in history at just 9.7 per cent capacity.
Fairbairn Dam has fallen to its lowest level in history at just 9.7 per cent capacity.

Fairbairn Dam drops below 10 per cent capacity

PROPERTY owners and residents across Central Queensland have been jumping for joy this week as the skies have opened, dropping close to 200mm of rain in some parts of the region.

Mackay has recorded upwards of 80mm since Friday and upwards of 170mm since Christmas Day at some properties.

Some areas of the Central Highlands also recorded rainfall on Christmas Day, with 16.8mm at Lochington, 3.6mm at Carnarvon Station and 11mm at Clermont.

The rain continued Boxing Day with 10.8mm at Bingegang Weir and 5.4mm recorded at Rolleston.

However, Emerald's Fairbairn Dam has continued to drop over the Christmas period and has fallen under 10 per cent, an all-time low since it was constructed in 1972.

Fairbairn Dam has recorded a low 9.7 per cent capacity today.

Despite rainfall expected to continue at some parts of Central Queensland, Emerald has just five per cent chance of rain tomorrow and will move towards 20 per cent chance on January 1 and 2.

Bureau of Meteorology Meteorologist Jess Gardner said the chances were "pretty low" for any rain at Emerald over the next week.

"You're really just catching the outside of any activities further east," she said.

Despite the grim prognosis, Emerald, Capella, Blackwater and Bluff remain on level 1 water restrictions.

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said council would consider the implementation of level 2 water restrictions in Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff in the new year.

"Under our current Water Restrictions Procedure, the trigger to move Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff to level 2 water restrictions is when the water storage level at Fairbairn Dam falls below 12 per cent," he said.

"However, we are currently undertaking a review of our trigger levels for water restrictions."

Earlier this month, Mr Hayes said the water storage level was only one of the factors taken into account when altering water restriction levels.

"Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff have excelled at water conservation to date and have used less water than the current level 1 water restriction target," he said.

"We are all hoping for rain, but we will have to see what the season brings."



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