Seqwater has released the 2023 Water Security Program outlining a 30-year strategic plan for SEQ water needs, with Canungra’s water future yet to be decided.
The report discusses several off-grid communities and says while none of these have a current shortfall in their level of service requirements additional investment will be required within a 30-year period at Beaudesert, Boonah–Kalbar, Canungra and Dayboro.
The report predicts Canungra’s water needs will more than double between 2023 and 2051, with the current average demand at 117 megalitres per annum predicted to rise to 246 megalitres per annum by 2051.
Planning for additional water sources is underway, but a practical solution is unlikely to be in effect for almost a decade, leaving the township reliant on the Canungra Creek and the mercy of the weather.
“Seqwater has commenced working on the strategic water supply options for Canungra, and timing for that investment, which is likely to be required within the next 8-12 years,” the report states.
“Upon completion of these investigations and assessments, Seqwater expects to shortlist a preferred option and will ensure the community is kept informed.”
As outlined in the South East Queensland Regional Plan, population in South East Queensland is set to grow to more than six million over the next 30 years.
The Water Security Program maps out how Seqwater plans to continue to provide safe, secure water supply through maximising the use of existing assets and planning for future climate-resilient water supply options.
The strategy focuses on getting the most out of the SEQ Water Grid, through connecting Wyaralong Dam (west of Beaudesert) to the Grid and expanding the existing Gold Coast Desalination Plant.
However, this is unlikely to help Canungra.
On 17 October, Canungra Creek flow levels fell to three megalitres per day.
Urban Utilities has issued a call for the Canungra community to save water; in the meantime, more developments are underway, with Seqwater prepared to tanker water into town to supplement the water supply when the creek inevitably runs dry.
Under Canungra’s drought response plan, water restrictions are only introduced when flows in Canungra Creek drop enough that Seqwater starts tankering water to supplement or maintain the town’s water supply. At that stage the tanker filling station will close to commercial water carters, but will remain open for domestic use for households on tank water.