Douglas Shire under level three water restrictions for first time ever



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RESTRICTED: Douglas Shire businesses and residents will need to carefully monitor their water usage.

Residents of Douglas Shire will have to carefully monitor their water usage as the council has today imposed level three water restrictions for the first time ever.

Water levels across the shire have dropped drastically in the past few weeks in the face of extreme heat and limited rainfall.

The new restrictions limit when lawns and gardens can be watered with one-the-spot fines of $391 for households and $1958 for businesses that don’t comply.

Douglas Shire has the highest water consumption per capita out of all Council areas in Far North Queensland.

Residents and businesses in Douglas Shire use about 1260 litres per capita per day with Cairns using 418 litres and Townsville 860 litres per capita per day.

Port Douglas has a higher water usage rate than Mossman with Port Douglas businesses and residents using more than twice the amount of water Mossman uses. 

Residents are warned level four restrictions are also a possibility unless water use across the shire is reigned in.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said council have no choice but to impose the new restrictions with water levels at the Rex Creek intake declining about five times quicker than usual.

“This is unprecedented and Council is regrettably left with no choice but to impose stern restrictions after an education campaign and strict patrols,” she said.

“We are still consuming huge amounts of water in Port Douglas and Council will be working with our heavy water users to reduce their consumption in coming days.”

“Everyone needs to curb their usage to the bare minimum because expert technical advice is suggesting more needs to be done.

“We know our big users are resorts and accommodation houses, however, we continue to encourage our water wise residents to keep up the good work and tighten the taps as they have done in the past few weeks.”

Current water usage in the Douglas Shire is at about 12 megalitres per day with council only able to extract half that amount to be treated and pushed into reservoirs. 

Cr Leu said it’s everyone’s responsibility to cut down on water usage to avoid a shortage of water across the region.

“Help us save water by ditching the hoses and sprinklers because unless we receive significant rainfall, we will be in a dire situation,” she said.

“Council has a responsibility to make sure there is enough safe water for locals and visitors and this means getting Douglas Shire to be more water wise than ever.”

Watering is ONLY allowed between 6am to 7am and 6pm to 7pm on alternate days.
“Alternate days” means your designated days of water use:

  • NO watering is permitted on Mondays.
  • ODD numbered properties can water on Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.
  • EVEN numbered properties can water on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.
  • Properties without a number can water on Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.



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