Fraser Coast has the toughest water restrictions in over a decade

Summer traditions of children cooling off in play pools and water slides have been banned on the Fraser Coast due to the most stringent water restrictions for more than a decade.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said rainfall was the lowest on record since April 2020, with Lenthalls Dam now less than half full.

“Council is introducing Level 3 water restrictions for the Hervey Bay water supply system for the first time since 2007 in an attempt to reduce daily water use by at least 20% and slow down the reduction of the Lenthalls dam, “he said.

Lenthalls Dam supplies water to Hervey Bay and surrounding areas.(Provided: Fraser Coast Regional Council)

Under the rules, garden sprinklers and irrigation systems are prohibited, and cars, boats and pets can only be washed with a bucket.

Janine Blaber, an avid gardener in Hervey Bay, said she hopes for wet weather to keep her fruit trees alive.

“We moved here five years ago and we haven’t seen the tropical rainfall we expected,” she said.

A woman waters a fruit tree using a bucket
Hervey Bay resident Janine Blaber waters her fruit trees with a bucket.(ABC Wide Bay: Johanna Marie)

Maryborough has been moved to Level 2 water restrictions.

“We appreciate that a lot of people are proud of their lawns and gardens, but as a community we have to work together to save water,” said Cr Seymour.

An unexpected population boom during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on the region’s water supply.

Water and Waste Services Director Mark Vanner said the council was developing a new water security strategy.

A ute with building materials near a partly built house
The Fraser Coast is experiencing a population boom, which has increased pressure on the region’s water supply.(ABC Wide Bay: Johanna Marie)

Wet weather

Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said the Bureau of Meteorology was forecasting rain for the weekend, which he hoped would bring the region a respite.

“Our good friends at BOM tell us that we can expect above average precipitation here on the Fraser Coast,” he said.

“We hope and pray that this precipitation will arrive in our watershed for the Lenthalls Dam, and especially in the Mary System.”

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