Gympie used 45 more Olympic Swimming Pools of water in 2018
GYMPIE residents have used approximately 45 more Olympic Swimming Pools' worth of water through 2018 so far - and variable weather combined with intense storms have been named as the main contributors to the uptake.
The Gympie Regional Council data showed "the total volume of potable (sic) water supplied to residential customers through 2016/17 was 1,914 mega litres, which increased by 113ML” - or 45.2 Olympic Swimming Pools - "to 2,027 ML in 2017/18”.
Average residential usage went up from 170.2kL to 171.5kL for an increase of 0.7 per cent, while total usage was up 6 per cent overall.
"Year to year variation in consumption is weather dependant. This means not just how hot and dry the weather is, but when it is hot and dry,” a council spokesman said.
"Water usage on gardens is low in winter regardless, but water usage in spring, summer (and) early autumn will depend on the frequency of storms and how hot it is between storms.
"Long dry spells, as we had in the lead-up to the storms in mid-October, will always result in increased usage.
"Prior to the rain in October water carriers were working 24/7 to keep up with demand from customers outside of Gympie. This water is sourced from Gympie and contributes to the demand on the water treatment plant.”
While the Gympie region was belted by two destructive storms in the space of the past month including October's "hailnado”, the spokesman said September's Woolooga fires - which ripped through at least 10,000ha of land to the north-west - only had a "negligible impact” on water usage.
He pointed to heavy rainfall as the cause of strong water reserves through a full Borumba Dam as at October 31.
"Water used to contain the (Woolooga) blaze was largely sourced from raw water sources outside of Gympie. Some water carting to residents was undertaken post the fire,” he said.
"Council made potable water available for Woolooga residents following the fires, however this was a minimal amount.
"The (Borumba) Dam was at 100 per cent of Full Supply Level (FSL) as at 31 October 2018. The dam reached 100 per cent FSL on 16 October, following heavy rain in the catchment.
"Water security shouldn't be taken for granted and efforts should be made to minimise water use wherever possible.”
Gympie State Emergency Service area controller Dean Wardell said the past month's intense storms were an example of an "increasing climatic trend”.
Mr Wardell said patchier but more intense rainfall, including during severe storms, in between hot and dry spells were becoming a more common pattern over spread out rainfall.
"We're not getting those days with 20mm of rain. It's just coming in hard and fast and hammering us,” Mr Wardell said.
"The climates that we were getting in central Australia are now heading to the east and northeast.”
Information on how to read water meters and test for internal leaks, as well as all water restrictions, are available on council's website.
Current water supply information can be accessed here.
PERMANENT WATER RESTRICTIONS - GYMPIE REGION
Gympie, Imbil, Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove
Amamoor, Kandanga, Kilkivan, Goomeri (lower water source security)