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Queensland’s largest dam misses heavy rains and warns of water restrictions

Despite hundreds of millimeters of rain in parts of southeastern Queensland last week, the largest and most important dams in southeast have fallen to levels as low as during the millennium drought.

Authorities warned that water restrictions could be enforced if the Wivenhoe Dam, which supplies more than half the water to the southeastern part of the state, continues to miss the coveted rain.

As of Wednesday, the Wivenhoe Dam, 80 km northwest of Brisbane, had a capacity of 38.3%. The dam reached that level in December, but before that, it had the last water reserves in March 2009.

A Seqwater spokesman said the dam could store 1,165,240 megaliters of water on a full supply.

“The second largest dam, Somerset Dam, flows into Wivenhoe, so the two reservoirs basically function as one. When making a controlled discharge of water from Somerset to Wivenhoe, it’s two. It’s about helping to balance the water levels between the reservoirs, “said a spokesman.

Camera iconSeqwater has opened a lock at Somerset Dam in response to the recent heavy rains in the catchment area. Water helps replenish the Wivenhoe dam. credit: News Regional Media

Water discharge began on Tuesday after a portion of the Somerset Dam catchment area received up to 200 mm of rainfall. It is estimated that the release of water will increase the level of Wivenhoe by 1-3 percent.

While 13 ungated dams in the region, including the Baroon Pocket, Enoggera, Hinze and Lake Macdonald dams, have been spilled as a result of a recent massive fall, the entire SEQ Water Grid is heavily dependent on Wivenhoe storage levels. I will.

Current levels of the Wivenhoe Dam and the water grid in southeastern Queensland compared to 2009 levels. Photo: Seqwater
Camera iconLevels of the Wivenhoe Dam (dark blue) and the water grid in southeastern Queensland from 2009 to 2013. Seqwater credit: Supply
Current levels of the Wivenhoe Dam and the water grid in southeastern Queensland compared to 2009 levels. Photo: Seqwater
Camera iconCompared to 2020 and 2021. Seqwater credit: Supply

When the grid reaches 50% capacity, a water limit will be introduced that limits the occupants to 140 liters of water per person per day.

As of Wednesday, the total water level was 60.6%, up from 57.7% in just five days.

Wibenhodam is as low as 2009, in the midst of a millennium drought.
Camera iconWibenhodam is as low as 2009, in the midst of a millennium drought. credit: News Regional Media

After heavy rains at the end of last month, Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the community needs to remain at the water’s edge despite heavy rains.

“The total water level in the area is still less than 60%, so we’re still in the drought response stage, and we’re asking residents to stay aware of water, especially during the traditional dry season,” he said. ..

“This time last year, the capacity of SEQ Water Grid was about 70% and the capacity of Wivenhoe was about 53%.”

Part of the sunshine and Gold Coast hinterlands and scenic edges were struck by heavy falls on Monday and Tuesday.

UpperSpringbrook received over 285mm in two days and Mount Glorias received about 140mm.

Further north, both Maleny and Peachester were hit by more than 170mm in two days.

A flood warning has been issued for the Stanley River, one of the inflows to Somerset Dam.

Many roads around the area are closed and drivers are urged to check the Queensland transportation website.

Queensland’s largest dam misses heavy rains and warns of water restrictions

Source link Queensland’s largest dam misses heavy rains and warns of water restrictions

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