OVERNIGHT irrigation will be encouraged under a new, flexible water restriction schedule endorsed by Douglas Shire Council today.

Councillors unanimously adopted an updated water restrictions schedule, featuring a new ‘Level 0 Water Restrictions’, to promote water conservation practices and provide clearer definitions of irrigation systems.

The change in allowable watering times, which has moved from separate evening and morning blocks, to a single overnight period, was the preferred method by the local landscaping industry during consultation conducted last year.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the changes give gardeners greater flexibility when using timer-controlled irrigation systems during night time hours.

“The daily number of hours available for irrigation is the same, but the new schedule provides more flexibility and improved efficiency to the community by reducing the need to process exemptions during water restrictions,” he said.

“As the water level restriction level increases, the number of hours reduce for the use of manual or automated irrigation systems.

“Council has been working closely with our local landscapers to reach a solution that reduces water usage during drier periods, while allowing businesses to operate and make a living.”

In 2019, there was a prolonged dry winter and spring period which instigated a level 3 water restriction level for a period of seven weeks.

Improved public reporting of Rex Creek Intake levels and consumption under the Mossman-Port Douglas Water Supply Scheme is also available Water Restriction page at Council’s website.

Council is encouraging residents and business owners to ‘Know the Flow’ by regularly checking intake levels and consumption through the coming dry season.

Mayor Kerr said the data helped articulate water management challenges brought on by the dry period and peak tourist season.

“In recent years, hot seasonal weather has extended late into December, placing extra pressures on our water supply with increased demand brought on by peak tourism season,” he said.

“These graphs give the public an ability to view the Rex Creek Intake levels, consumption data and the trends dating back to January 2019, arming people with more information to compare the current season to previous years.”

For more information, please visit: https://douglas.qld.gov.au/water-wastewater/

View the new water restriction schedule here