Water restrictions have ended.
The Goondiwindi Regional Council voted to remove all water restrictions across the Goondiwindi region in its Ordinary meeting last week, effective immediately.
It marks the first time the region has been free of any water restriction since mid-2019.
Thanks to recent rain, all of the region's water storage facilities currently have more than 12 months' of supply available. As per Council's Drought Management Plan, this means restrictions are no longer required.
Council will continue to work with the Queensland Government's Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water to monitor storage levels and review restriction requirements going forward.
Councillor Rick Kearney, who holds Council's Portfolio for water services, said the introduction of water restrictions in 2019 had seen a successful reduction in water use across the region.
"With water restrictions in place, we achieved a 36% reduction in water usage from 2019 to 2020," Cr Kearney said.
"If we think back to January 2020 in particular, some towns in the region were down to just weeks' worth of water available," he said. "But thanks to a real effort by the community to reduce demand, along with some key water infrastructure improvements across the region, we were successfully able to extend the region's supply and, thankfully, no town was left dry."
The Goondiwindi region has been drought-declared since 2014. For the first time in the region's history, Council introduced water restrictions on 15 July 2019 to conserve supply.
In December 2019, Coolmunda Dam reached a historic low of just 1.67%.
Fortunately, the catchment area received some high rainfall earlier this year. From just one downpour in the right places, the water level at Coolmunda Dam rose from 16.19% to 103.6% in two days. With even more follow-up rain, it peaked at 104.9% on 6 April 2021 and currently remains at more than 100% capacity.
GR Mayor, Cr Lawrence Springborg AM thanked residents for their efforts in saving water. "I really want to thank residents for their efforts. But we must remember that, despite recent rain, the Goondiwindi region has been drought-declared for seven years, and continues to face one of the worst droughts on record," he said. "So let's continue the good habits and carry them forward into what is looking to be a better and wetter season ahead - and I very much look forward to seeing what this recent rain will do for our local producers especially."