A town in Australia has run out of water only weeks after a Chinese company received a go signal to run a commercial water extraction facility in the drought-ravaged area.
Stanthorpe is now completely dependent on around 40 truckloads of H2O a day delivered from a dam. The local dam for the town with 5,000 people has reduced to 11 percent of capacity, with Stanthorpe residents limited to 80 liters of water per person a day.
Last month, Southern Downs Regional Council tightened water restrictions one day after the approval of the development of a mining operation 40km away from Cherrabah town.
The transporting from Connolly Dam consists of 1.3 mega liters per day. According to mayor Tracy Dobie, the project is the largest of its kind by an Australian local government.
She said: “We’ve now commenced full trucking of water. There’s 14 trucks doing three trips a day. Council promised the community we would not run out of water.
“The initial stages of water carting went extremely well and without incident. We will now move to full-time water carting to provide water to the Stanthorpe Region.”
However, the 80-liter restriction remains in place – 4 times less than the average individual water consumption of 340 liters per day.
The situation in the region was highlighted in 2019 when a farmer from Stanthorpe reported that his neighbor stole 70,000 liters of drinking water.
61-year-old Andrew Todd said thieves targeted his property three times over five months. Instead of feeling angry at his neighbors, Mr. Todd said he feels sympathetic for them.
“It’s just very sad. You’ve got to lock your gates now,” he added.
Then the Southern Downs Regional Council approved the development of a mining operation in mid-December and people living in Warwick and Stanthorpe saw their water restrictions cut to 80 liters per person.
One resident said to The Guardian: “I don’t understand how it is allowed to happen. If that water drains away from the shallow aquifers, it affects our long-term viability.”
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