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Water restrictions

Water restrictions - click on town to see details

The following water restrictions will be enforced in the Central Highlands with regards to watering of private lawns and gardens. These restrictions are implemented under the Water Restriction Procedure of 2019.

Restrictions do not apply to alternative water sources used for external use, such as rainwater, grey water or private bores. Restrictions also do not apply to properties with their own water allocations or water licences.

Visit our how to save water page for some tips on water conservation around the house, the garden and at work.

Update 1 April 2019 – Capella and Rolleston are now on level 0 water restrictions – See below for restriction details. 

Update 27 March 2019 – Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff are now on level 1 water restrictions – See below for restriction details. 

Got a question about water restrictions? Scroll down the page to our new FAQs.

  • Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff - Level 1

    The guide for level 1 water restrictions for residential gardens and commercial premises is:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
      • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
      • By sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Odd numbered houses can water lawns:
      • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
      • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
      • By sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm
    • Even numbered houses can water lawns:
      • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Hand held hoses, watering cans or buckets can be used at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

  • Anakie, Comet, Duaringa, Dingo, Rubyvale, Sapphire and Springsure – Level 0

    The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Odd numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • Even numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

  • Capella - Level 0

    Updated 1 April 2019: Water harvesting has taken both relevant dams to above the trigger levels for restrictions.

    The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Odd numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • Even numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

  • Tieri – Level 0

    The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

    East of Malvern Avenue:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    West of Malvern Avenue:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

  • Rolleston - Level 0

    The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

    East of Warrijo Street:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    West of Warrijo Street:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

The guide for level 1 water restrictions for residential gardens and commercial premises is:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
    • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • By sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
  • Odd numbered houses can water lawns:
    • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
  • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
    • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
    • By sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm
  • Even numbered houses can water lawns:
    • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
  • Hand held hoses, watering cans or buckets can be used at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Odd numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
  • Even numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

Updated 1 April 2019: Water harvesting has taken both relevant dams to above the trigger levels for restrictions.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Odd numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
  • Even numbered houses can water by sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am and between 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

East of Malvern Avenue:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

West of Malvern Avenue:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

East of Warrijo Street:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

West of Warrijo Street:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Watering by sprinklers allowed between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Attended hand held hoses are permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses, can be found in the procedure.

Water Restrictions - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff on level 1 restrictions now?

    Central Highlands Regional Council met on 26 March 2019 and resolved to reduce the water restrictions to level 1 for Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff because the level of the Fairbairn Dam had increased to 12.64%  as at 26 March 2019.

  • What are level 1 water restrictions?

    The guide for level 1 water restrictions for residential gardens and commercial premises is:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
      • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
      • By sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Odd numbered houses can water lawns:
      • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery:
      • By micro sprays and drip systems fitted with timers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 5.00 am and 9.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
      • By sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm
    • Even numbered houses can water lawns:
      • By micro sprays, drip systems and sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6.00 am and 8.00 am, and 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
    • Hand held hoses, watering cans or buckets can be used at any time.
  • Why do we need water restrictions?

    We are imposing water restrictions so that we can stretch our security of water supply out as far as we can considering the worst-case scenario.

  • How is the level of water restriction determined?

    The level of Fairbairn Dam near Emerald is used as an indicator for water restrictions because it is connected to the Nogoa Mackenzie water scheme that Emerald, Blackwater, Bluff and Tieri rely on for their water supply.

    Rolleston gets its water from the Comet River. It’s water restrictions are determined by the capacity of the Ring Tank.

    Capella is supplied with water from three sources – a system of bores, surface water runoff, water that is harvested from Capella Creek during times of flood flows and from a drought relief pipeline that was constructed from Tieri.

    Its restrictions are determined by the capacity of the water storage facilities.

    More detailed information about where the water comes from for towns in the Central Highlands can be found on page 2 of the procedure.

  • What is the current level of the Fairbairn Dam?

    As at 5 November 2019, the Fairbairn Dam was at a level of 13.7 %. You can check the current level of the dam by visiting the Sunwater website.

  • How does council get its water?

    Every year on 1 July, the council is allocated an amount of water to use to supply the community from the Fairbairn Dam by SunWater.

  • If I pay rates, don't I have the right to use water?

    Owners of property connected to the water supply pay an annual charge and a consumption charge.

    The annual charge is the cost for council to provide water to the property whether or not any water is actually used.

    The consumption charge is calculated from the amount of water actually used at the property.

  • How important is the community water supply?

    Supplying water for people to use is what is referred to as ‘high priority’.

    Other high priority water users are industry that is vital to the economy of the state and region—employs a lot of people and earns money for the state—such as coal mines.

  • Why didn't council implement restrictions earlier?

    Most of the region has been on level ‘0’ restrictions for many years, which has limited outdoor water use to alternate days.

    The council’s procedure sets out the triggers for the next level of restrictions based on the level of Fairbairn Dam.

  • Where do I find out what the water restrictions mean for me?

    To see what restriction is in place for your town and what those restrictions mean click on the tab above.

  • Am I an odd or even numbered property?

    Whether you are an ‘even’ or ‘odd’ numbered property influences your watering days.

    Property addresses are categorised as ‘even’ if:

    • The number of the property within the street is an even number. If you live in a unit, it is the number of your unit block that counts, not the number of your unit. E.g. 4 Simon Street or Unit 3/14 Simon Street.
    • There is no allocated street number and the property’s lot number is an even number. E.g Lot 4 Simon Road.
    • The property address includes more than one street number and the first number is even. E.g. 4 – 7 Simon Road.

    The same guidelines apply to categorising ‘odd-numbered’ properties (swap the word ‘even’ for the word ‘odd’).

  • What is council doing to conserve water?

    The council began reducing its water use on public parks and gardens from November 2018.

    All public gardens are subject to level 2 water restrictions.

    Non-active playing surfaces are not being watered.

    Active playing surfaces are subject to level 2 water restrictions.

    A water use monitoring system has been implemented requiring monthly water-use reports to be submitted to council for each facility being watered.

     

  • What about the Emerald Botanic Gardens?

    The Emerald Botanic Gardens is a public park of regional significance.

    It is enjoyed by hundreds of people every day and is a wonderful oasis for residents and tourists.

    As such, the botanic gardens, which is watered with raw water from the Nogoa River, will have watering reduced in some parts, but will be maintained in the best condition possible given the circumstances.

  • What's more important, a coal mine or a town?

    They are both equally important. Coal mines employ many people who live in the nearby towns.

    Without the town water there would be no people to work in the mines and without the mines there would be many less people to live in the town.

    This is why council and industries that share the water work closely together to make sure the water supply is secure.

  • What are industries like mining and cotton farming doing to conserve water?

    Water supply to industries and crop farming are managed by Sunwater.

    Sunwater works closely with their customers, including council, industries and farmers, to carefully manage water allocation to support ongoing water security and business confidence.

    Remember, these companies and their employees are a part of our community too and recognise the need to conserve water.

  • How many water restriction levels are there?

    There are five water restriction levels – 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the Central Highlands local government area.

  • Do you need to have a sign on front fence if you are watering lawns with grey water or tanks?

    It would certainly be a good idea to place a sign on your property that indicates if you are using an alternative source of water in your garden or on you lawn.

  • Can I install a water tank?

    Yes you can! Visit our rainwater tank information page and give our plumbing team a call on 1300 242 686.

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