Sunshine Coast dams send water south

Sunshine Coast dams will start supplementing Brisbane’s water supply from this week following the recent rainfall.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said that with the Sunshine Coast’s main water supply, Baroon Pocket Dam, just over 97 per cent capacity, Seqwater would reverse the flow of the south-east Queensland water grid between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

“At the start of summer falling dam levels on the Sunshine Coast meant the water grid was being used to supplement Sunshine Coast supplies,” he said.

“After more than 10,000 megalitres of inflow over the past week, Baroon Pocket is almost full while Wivenhoe remains just over 50 per cent.

“From tomorrow, the Sunshine Coast will be returning the favour.

“As I told Parliament this morning, south-east Queensland’s combined water grid levels are at 67.4 per cent – an increase of five to six months of additional supply since it started coming down.

“Despite receiving its best inflows in recent years, our biggest single water storage, Wivenhoe Dam, remains at its lowest level in more than a decade.”

Dr Lynham said the foresight of previous Labor Governments in building the grid gave SEQ one of the most reliable water supplies in Australia.

Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said changing the flow direction of bulk water supply pipelines was all part of normal operations at Seqwater.

“We are operating the grid to best preserve water supply in Wivenhoe as we head into the traditionally drier months of autumn and winter,” he said.

The long-awaited rainfall this month occurred mostly along coastal catchments with the Sunshine and Gold Coasts recording rainfalls in excess of 400 mm.

Other Sunshine Coast dams including Wappa (101 per cent), Ewen Maddock (98.3 per cent), Poona (100.3 per cent) and Cooloolabin (81.3 per cent) are now either at or nearing full capacity.

Seqwater is continuing to operate the Tugun desalination plant until run-off slows and the full impact of the current rain event is assessed.

The Bureau of Meteorology outlook for autumn is for below average rainfall with hotter and drier than normal conditions forecast for SEQ.

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