You are here Home Water, waste & land use Water Water restrictions

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 Drought Management Plan of 2009. (Note: Triggers and restriction levels are on pages 54-61).

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

    Updated 27 March 2019: Inflows to the Fairbairn Dam has increased the storage level to above 12% and the level 2 restrictions for Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff have been reduced to level 1 restrictions.

    The guide for level 1 water restrictions is:

    • No impact for households with greywater re-use systems or rainwater tanks, where that is the water source.
    • No impact for households with functioning bores accessing groundwater, where that is the water source.
    • No sprinklers on Mondays.
    • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • Capella and Rolleston - 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 – Sprinklers allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
    • Even-numbered houses – Sprinklers allowed Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
    • Attended hand held hoses permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

  • 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 – Sprinklers allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
    • Even-numbered houses – Sprinklers allowed Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
    • Attended hand held hoses permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

  • Tieri – Level 0

    The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

    • No sprinklers on Mondays
    • West of Malvern Avenue – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between the hours of 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm.
    • East of Malvern Avenue – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between the hours of 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm.
    • Attended hand-held hoses permitted at any time.

    More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

Updated 27 March 2019: Inflows to the Fairbairn Dam has increased the storage level to above 12% and the level 2 restrictions for Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff have been reduced to level 1 restrictions.

The guide for level 1 water restrictions is:

  • No impact for households with greywater re-use systems or rainwater tanks, where that is the water source.
  • No impact for households with functioning bores accessing groundwater, where that is the water source.
  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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 – Sprinklers allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
  • Even-numbered houses – Sprinklers allowed Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
  • Attended hand held hoses permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays.
  • Odd-numbered houses – Sprinklers allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
  • Even-numbered houses – Sprinklers allowed Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, between the hours of 7.00 pm and 9.00 am only.
  • Attended hand held hoses permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

The guide for level 0 water restrictions is:

  • No sprinklers on Mondays
  • West of Malvern Avenue – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between the hours of 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm.
  • East of Malvern Avenue – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between the hours of 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm.
  • Attended hand-held hoses permitted at any time.

More information, including extra restrictions for pools, fountains and businesses use can be found in this document.

Water Restrictions - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is 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?
    • No impact for households with greywater re-use systems or rainwater tanks, where that is the water source
    • No impact for households with functioning bores accessing groundwater, where that is the water source
    • No sprinklers on Mondays
    • Odd numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    • Even numbered houses can water garden beds and shrubbery by means of micro sprays, drip systems or sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9.00am the following day. Lawns can be watered by sprinklers, micro-spray and drip systems between 6.00am and 8.00am and between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 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 pages 5-9 of the Drought Management Plan.

  • What is the current level of the Fairbairn Dam?

    As at the 25 March 2019, the Fairbairn Dam was at a level of 12.7%. 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 drought management plan sets out the triggers for the next level of restrictions based on the level of the 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.

Register for SMS Alerts

Enter your mobile number and we will text you with important local alerts