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Urban Utilities, along with Seqwater, are seeking feedback from your local community about how we communicated about drought response in Canungra

Seqwater is responsible for managing the bulk water supply in South East Queensland and we are responsible for delivering water to around 450 homes and businesses in Canungra and treating all your wastewater.

canungra

We value the needs of small communities like Canungra, and recognise the impact that drought has on people’s lives.

We visited the Canungra community at DJ Smith Park in late August and would like to thank the residents who provided feedback on how they wanted to be kept informed during drought response. 

We understand the Canungra community has questions about the local water supply and drought response. We’re reviewing feedback from the survey and recent ‘Let’s Talk Water’ community event, and will share answers to common questions and themes here on our website and by email communications. 

We want to assure the community that Seqwater and Urban Utilities will continue to work together to ensure the current and future drinking water demands for Canungra are met, including during times of drought.

Located at the base of Mount Tambourine, Canungra is one of 12 towns in South East Queensland that is not connected to the SEQ Water Grid or to a substantial dam. Each of these towns has its own water supply source, including creeks and local aquifers, and its own drought response plan. 

The Canungra community’s water supply is sourced from Canungra Creek, which Seqwater closely monitors as flows in the creek can change quickly.

Canungra Creek has stopped flowing five times in 120 years, including November 2019 and November 2020.

2019 was a very dry year - much of South East Queensland experienced the lowest annual rainfall on record, and it was a record drought for Canungra.

The community rallied together to save water during water restrictions and we’re seeing everyone’s great efforts continue during the traditional dry season.

We appreciate the efforts of people in the community who are continuing to work hard to save water.

Water supply updates

Levels in Canungra Creek can change quickly and during drought response Seqwater and Urban Utilities work together to keep the community updated about the local water supply.

During the drought response in Canungra in 2019 and 2020, Urban Utilities provided regular updates to the community via:

We appreciate the concern caused by limited notice when drought triggers are declared and we thank the community for their understanding.

Thank you to the Canungra community for your interest, questions and feedback on the local drinking water supply and your comments about how you want to be kept informed during times of drought response.

The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) are based directly on common themes and questions asked during our recent ‘Let’s Talk Water’ community event and online survey. You can read the answers below.

What is the drinking water source for Canungra?

The Canungra community’s drinking water supply is sourced from Canungra Creek. It supplies Seqwater’s Canungra water treatment plant, which was upgraded in 2019 and can treat up to 1.5 megalitres each day.

What roles do Urban Utilities, Seqwater, and the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water play in water security management of Canungra?

Seqwater is responsible for water supply and security in South East Queensland and they monitor flows in Canungra Creek and operate the water treatment plant in Canungra.

Urban Utilities delivers treated drinking water to around 450 homes and businesses in Canungra through our water network and provides wastewater treatment services to households and businesses in the town. Urban Utilities also provides a filling station that can be used to fill tankers and large containers. This is an important service that helps to support properties that are not connected to the town water supply.

The State Government’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water oversees the administration of the section of the Logan Basin Water Plan (2007) relating to Canungra Creek, including all the water allocations for drinking water and irrigation purposes.

What is the drought response plan for Canungra?

The drought response plan for Canungra is a plan that Seqwater and Urban Utilities have developed to provide clear actions to be taken as flows in Canungra Creek fall and drought progresses.

The drought response plan gives clear instructions on how to operate the water treatment plant, manage demand, communicate with customers and plans to provide alternative water supplies if needed.

When flows in Canungra Creek fall below 7 megalitres per day, the drought response plan for Canungra is activated. When drought progresses to the point where there is no longer enough flow in the creek to meet the minimum required to operate the water treatment plant, Seqwater can supply enough water to meet demand through use of water tankers.

Where can I read the drought response plan for Canungra?

The current drought response plan for Canungra is in Seqwater’s Water Security Program, which is available at seqwater.com.au/waterforlife.

An updated drought response plan for Canungra will be published when the next version of Seqwater’s Water Security Program is released in March 2022.

What does it mean if a town is ‘off-grid’ for its water supply?

‘Off-grid’ towns are not connected to the SEQ Water Grid and rely on their own water supply source, including creeks and local aquifers, and have their own drought response plan.

Canungra is one of 12 towns in South East Queensland that is not connected to the SEQ Water Grid.

The other off-grid communities are Kalbar (Boonah, Aratula, and Mount Alford) Beaudesert, Kooralbyn, Rathdowney, Jimna, Linville, Dayboro, Kenilworth, Dunwich, Point Lookout and Amity Point.

For information about the SEQ Water Grid, visit seqwater.com.au/seq-water-grid.

What role does trucking water play in South East Queensland’s Water Security Program for ‘off-grid’ towns including Canungra?

Carting or trucking drinking water is used as a short-term measure to maintain drinking water supply to Canungra if the water treatment plant needs to be taken offline.

Tankering water to the community is also part of the drought response plan for Canungra to maintain drinking water in times of drought, if flows in Canungra Creek become low or stop.

Tankering is a reliable and cost-effective method to maintain water supplies for all off-grid towns that aren’t connected to the SEQ Water Grid.

Canungra Creek has stopped flowing five times in around 120 years, and tankering is only needed for the short duration that the water treatment plant is offline.

When was the last time drinking water was tankered into Canungra due to drought?

The last time Seqwater tankered water to Canungra due to drought was in November 2019 for approximately nine weeks, and prior to that it was in 2002.

What is the plan for long-term water security in Canungra?

Longer-term water security assessments for South East Queensland are currently being completed, including for off-grid communities. These plans will consider population growth, additional drinking water demand and future supply options.

Seqwater is committed to exploring all long-term water security options for Canungra together with Urban Utilities, Council and the community.

Seqwater and Urban Utilities will continue to work together to make sure current and future drinking water demands for Canungra are met, including during drought.

Who has pumping rights to Canungra Creek and what restrictions are in place for these users?

The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water is responsible for overseeing the administration of the section of the Logan Basin Water Plan (2007) relating to Canungra Creek, including all the water allocations.

Seqwater has a yearly allocation allowing it to draw water from Canungra Creek for the purpose of treating it and making it available for drinking water to the Canungra community.
The Department is also responsible for water drawing allocations from Canungra Creek for irrigation.

A copy of the legislation is online at www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/sl-2007-0025

Seqwater and Urban Utilities work with the Department of Water and we've shared feedback from the Canungra community from the community survey and ‘Let’s Talk Water’ event.

How is the water quality and environment in Canungra Creek managed?

The drinking water produced by Seqwater’s water treatment plant and supplied to Canungra meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Seqwater has a yearly allocation allowing it to draw water from Canungra Creek for the purpose of treating it and making it available for supply to the Canungra community. This high priority allocation is made via the Logan Basin Water Plan (2007).

From a whole of creek system perspective, details about how water quality and the environment are prioritised can be found in the Logan Basin Water Plan (2007) and by contacting the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water who oversee the administration of the section of the plan relating to Canungra Creek, including all water allocations.

A copy of the legislation is online at www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/sl-2007-0025

How do new developments and a growing population impact the water security of Canungra?

Seqwater and Urban Utilities plan well into the future to cater for population growth and development in Canungra.

Seqwater and Urban Utilities are currently reviewing longer term water security assessments for Canungra. These plans will consider population growth, additional drinking water demand and future supply options.

As at September 2021, the volume of water supplied to Canungra for drinking water is well inside Seqwater’s annual allocation to draw from Canungra Creek.

Seqwater’s water treatment plant has a capacity to treat up to 1.5 megalitres per day and at current average daily supply volumes it is operating at less than one-fifth of that capacity.
Seqwater and Urban Utilities will continue to work together to make sure current and future drinking water demands for Canungra are met, including during drought.

Will Canungra Creek be connected to the SEQ Water Grid?

Seqwater is assessing the suitability and viability of a wide range of water supply options for the future.

Most towns in the Scenic Rim are not connected to the SEQ Water Grid and rely on their own local water sources for their drinking water supply. Seqwater is currently carrying out works to extend the SEQ Water Grid to connect Beaudesert.

Is there potential for a bore to be installed (ground water extraction) as an additional raw water source for Canungra?

Groundwater is not currently being considered as an additional raw water source for Canungra. Efforts are focussed on other water sources.

How can I find out about current conditions in Canungra?

For the latest information about the water supply in Canungra, visit urbanutilities.com.au/Canungra follow us on Facebook and sign up to our email alerts.

How do I sign up to email alerts from Urban Utilities about the local water supply and drought?

Sign up for Canungra specific email updates here

Can I receive my water security updates by post?

To ensure we get the latest information to you quickly, we largely use online channels.

We do appreciate not everyone has access to fast, reliable internet all the time so where we can, we have a process to distribute flyers, letters, or brochures to residents when needed.

We also provide regular updates about the water supply to local media during drought response.

Can I talk to someone at Urban Utilities over the phone or face-to-face?

If you would like to speak to someone at Urban Utilities, we are available 8am to 6pm weekdays on 13 26 57 for general enquiries.

For face-to-face conversations, we have teams which visit community events in our service regions year-round.

Our recent community engagement pop-up in Canungra received positive feedback that it was a useful forum, so we’ll look to visit the community again. We will also advertise in the local newspaper if we are planning to be in your area.

You can also visit this page for updates, fill out a webform enquiry or email Community.Feedback@urbanutilities.com.au

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