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Douglas Shire Council is pleased to confirm the relaxing of water restriction measures across the shire from Level 4 to Level 3 from 2 May 2024.

Several factors have contributed to the relaxation. They include the end of the wet season, water conservation efforts of the community and tourism industry, as well as initiatives by Council to improve water security therefore significantly reducing the potential for interruptions to water supply.

Production levels at the Whyanbeel Water Treatment Plant will increase when new ultrafiltration treatment units are commissioned while the installation of an interconnector pipeline between Mossman and Whyanbeel water schemes is complete. More than 200 network leaks have been fixed and Council has invested in 30 new water tanks.

Douglas Shire Mayor Lisa Scomazzon said residents, businesses and the tourism industry were to be commended for water conservation efforts to date.

“Since Level 4 water restrictions were introduced on 12 January 2024, water consumption across the shire has dropped by 30 per cent, which is a remarkable achievement by our community,” Cr Scomazzon said.

“Our treatment plants are processing 12Ml/day and we are confident in our decision to relax restrictions.

“We hope these changes will ease some of the strain on the region’s residents and businesses while the council continues to secure longer-term water security solutions for the region. I’d like to thank staff for their hard work in this area.”

While this is good news, Level 3 water restrictions include important water usage constraints for all public, private, commercial and industrial sectors.

“Water is a precious resource, so even though restrictions have been relaxed, it is still important to continue to make saving water part of the everyday routine,” Cr Scomazzon said.

Councillor Abigail Noli said she was happy for residents that the restrictions had been brought down by one level.

“I am also very proud of how everyone has stuck with the restrictions until now,” Cr Noli said.

“Much hard work has gone into getting this far and I’m confident that Council will be able to pursue improvements on our water security so that we will continue to head in the right direction.”

To help tourism operators and businesses across our region, Council has worked with Tourism Port Douglas Daintree to launch the Preserve Paradise tool kit which includes fact sheets, FAQs, posters, and in-room signage.

“We are encouraging our residents and visitors to Preserve Paradise and help with water conservation efforts. This forms an important and authentic part of our sustainability story as a destination,” Cr Scomazzon said.

“We strongly encourage residents and businesses to use the MiWater portal to track water usage and help with continued conservation efforts.”

Level 3 Water Restrictions include:

  • The watering of plants, gardens and lawns by bucket at any time. Hand-held hoses with trigger or twist nozzles permitted between 6pm – 7am for a maximum of one hour and must be attended at all times.
  • Restricted use of manual sprinklers, automated sprinklers, micro-spray or drip watering irrigation systems.
  • Private properties with existing swimming pools may top up pools to the minimum operating level, however, we request customers are conscious of the demand they are placing on the system and top up pools at a reduced flow rate.
  • The filling up of existing ponds and water features.
  • The cleaning of windows by means of a watering can or bucket only.
  • The cleaning of paved areas by means of a bucket, unless cleaning is required as a result of an accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.
  • The topping up of private swimming pools, spas and portable paddling pools, among other activities.

Exemptions must be approved for:

  • The filling of new swimming pools and spas.
  • The filling of water storage tanks and dams.
  • The use of water toys and facilities.
  • Any other purpose not listed in the Water Restrictions.

A full list of inclusions in Level 3 Water Restrictions can be found HERE.

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