Brisbane Mayor Warns of Impending Water Shortages, Urges New Source Development


Brisbane residents may again face strict water use limitations within the coming year should the state government disregard impending warnings, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner cautions. The potential water restrictions are feared as the city braces for predictions of a 20 per cent drop in total water supply by 2024.

Bearing the brunt of potential water scarcity is Wivenhoe Dam, the city’s principal water reservoir. Currently, it holds 71 per cent of its maximum capacity of over 1.16 million megalitres, as noted by SEQ Water. As per fresh data from the water watchdog, the supply grid could plummet to 60 per cent by the start of the new year, and further to 50 per cent by September.

Reflecting on the city’s critical need for an additional primary water source, Lord Mayor Schrinner stated, “The harsh reality we’ve known for years, is evident now more than ever. Brisbane urgently requires another major source of water.” He further added that, should dry summer conditions prevail as predicted, Brisbane inhabitants could be grappling with water restrictions in just a year’s time.

The city saw its last implementation of water restrictions in 2021 when the water grid fell to a worrying 55.3 per cent. Schrinner expressed stern criticism of the situation, referring to it as a ‘frustrating game of Russian roulette’ being imposed on residents with regards to water restrictions.

With an anticipated addition of 200,000 homes in the next twenty years, Brisbane’s existing water resources face a mounting strain. Seizing the dire forecast as an avenue to revive his call for the development of a new source of water, Schrinner affirmed, “For years, I’ve been insisting that Brisbane necessitates another water source to complement Wivenhoe Dam. The need for this is more pressing than what was previously predicted.”

Open to discussions on alternative methods of water storage that exclude constructing a new dam, Schrinner specified, “I care little if the solution is a dam, desalination or recycled water. The crucial point is, we need to start this conversation. It takes considerable time to meticulously plan and deliver new water sources.”

Further strengthening his urgent appeal, Schrinner urged the state government to confront this issue promptly, while there is still an opportunity to alleviate potential harm. He warned, “I once again implore the state government to urgently address the precarious situation of our city’s water supply. If this lethargic attitude persists, our region risks an increased threat of desiccation.”

In an ironic twist of sufficiency, over 110,000 megalitres of water were discharged from the Wivenhoe Dam the previous October due to flooding rain which filled the dam to an overwhelming 180 per cent capacity.


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