The Sunshine Coast’s Baroon Pocket Dam has filled for the first time in three years.
Heavy rainfall during early to mid March 2018 has caused all Sunshine Coast and Noosa dams to reach full capacity and spill.
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dan Spiller, said that while Sunshine Coast dams are now full, it is important for people to understand just how quickly storage levels could drop.
Baroon Pocket Dam, the coast’s main supply source, received more than 13,000 million litres of water from February to mid- March 2018 – causing the storage level to rise 21 per cent.
The situation is in stark contrast to 2017, when the dam level dropped below 50 per cent twice in less than 12 months.
In response, Seqwater has used the SEQ water grid and pumped treated drinking water into the Sunshine Coast via the Northern Pipeline Interconnector.
“The last few years have shown just how quickly water levels can decrease with poor rainfalls and inflows,” Mr Spiller said.
“That occurred despite water being supplied north to the Sunshine Coast from the North Pine and Wivenhoe dams, via that North Pine and Mt Crosby water treatment plants.
“In South East Queensland, we live in a climate of extremes – and part of living here means being ready to adapt our water use and management when conditions change.”
Mr Spiller said Seqwater would increasingly use the water grid to move water from Brisbane to supplement Sunshine Coast supplies.
Mr Spiller said it was also important for people to understand the relatively small size of the Sunshine Coast dams.
“Across South East Queensland, our dams can store about 2.2 million megalitres of drinking water.
“Of that total, Sunshine Coast dams only contribute about 126,000 megalitres of that supply – or about four per cent.
“This is why the connection to the water grid is so important for the Sunshine Coast – particularly during extended periods of low rainfall.”
The SEQ water grid is currently at 83.4 per cent, an increase of eight per cent in the past month.
Baroon Pocket Dam was built in 1988 and is located between Maleny and Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.