Current Water Conservation Measures

Current Water Restrictions

Council is on Level 4 Water Restrictions

Rex Creek Intake Levels

Weekly data on water levels at the Rex Creek Intake

Water Usage

Water usage data in Port Douglas-Mossman.

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Level 4 water restrictions: what this means 

Watering of plants, gardens and lawns: Watering cans or buckets allowed between 7am – 8am and 7pm – 8pm only. Hoses must not be used at any time.

Use of manual sprinklers, automated sprinklers, micro-spray or drip watering irrigation systems: Must not be used at any time.

Private swimming pools, spas and portable paddling pools – filling or topping up: Must not be filled – unless an exemption has been approved.

Water features (i.e. ponds, water fountains and ornaments): Existing ponds sustaining fish or bird life can only be topped up to their minimum operating level.  Other ponds must not be topped up or filled. Water fountains and ornaments must not operate.

Water toys and facilities: Must not be used – unless an exemption has been approved.

Water storage tanks and dams: Must not be filled – unless an exemption has been approved.

Cleaning of vehicles, boats, jet skis and trailers: Water must not be used, except by means of:
a) Commercial car washing facilities that recycle water.
b) Watering cans or buckets filled directly from taps.
c) Boat motors may be flushed and rinsed after use for a maximum of 5 minutes.
Where possible, vehicles, boats, jet skis and trailers shall be cleaned on grassed areas.

Window cleaning: Water must not be used unless cleaning is required as a result of an accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.

Paved areas – cleaning:  Water must not be used unless cleaning is required as a result of an accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.

Filling mobile water tankers (other than those directly used for fire
fighting purposes): Only by using Council approved and issued metered standpipes. Fees and charges, terms and conditions apply.

Construction Industry: Unless an exemption has been approved, the use of water in construction is limited to buckets and handheld hoses
with trigger or twist nozzles. Water must not be used for dust suppression.

Fire fighting or other emergency purposes: Any time as reasonably required.

Supplying water for livestock and other animals: Any time as reasonably required.

Any other purpose not listed in the water restrictions (except fire fighting,
public health and safety, domestic purposes). Water must not be used – unless an exemption has been approved.


More information on Council’s Water Restrictions is available, here.

Learn how to save water around the home by visiting the Queensland Government website for more information.

Rex Creek Intake Level 

The Rex Creek intake provides water for the Mossman – Port Douglas water scheme through the Mossman water treatment plant.  It is Councils’ largest water scheme, serving about 7,000 people.

As the water level drops at the intake, typically during the drier months of the year, Council progressively introduces water conservation measures to encourage water users to reduce their usage.

The following graph shows the fortnightly intake levels from 2019.

Along with the 7,000 residents, Mossman – Port Douglas water supply scheme services the 500,000 overnight visitors along with the 300,000 day trippers who visit Port Douglas each year.  Hundreds of tourism dependant hotels, resorts and short-term holiday accommodation providers rely on the scheme to service them.

The water extraction rate from Rex Creek is regulated by the Queensland Government in order to maintain environmental flows in the creek downstream of the intake.  These reduced extraction rates align with the water conservation measures typically introduced in the dry season.  These measures tend to coincide with the peak tourism season when demand is typically higher.  In recent years, the dry season has extended into December, which with corresponding low flows in the creek, presents an increased challenge in balancing water demand with the ability to produce enough water.

Therefore the adoption of water saving measures by all residents of the Douglas Shire is so important.

Annual Rainfall Data

Rainfall in the wet tropics is concentrated from November to May each year. The rainfall averages shown are for
Port Douglas, which has the longest record, but data from Daintree, Whyanbeel and Mossman indicates a very similar pattern.

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