Canungra is no longer in drought

Canungra’s drought response plan was activated in late August 2023, when flows in Canungra Creek fell below seven megalitres per day. The arrival of traditional wet season rainfall from mid-December returned the local water supply to non-drought levels.

Canungra (located at the base of Mount Tamborine) is one of 12 towns in South East Queensland that is not connected to the SEQ Water Grid. 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 can change quickly in response to low rainfall.

January 2024

Canungra is officially out of drought

Canungra Creek is flowing strongly again and water supply has returned to non-drought levels after more than 450mm of rain fell in the catchment in recent weeks.

Flows in Canungra Creek peaked at more than 5,000 megalitres per day and they’re currently sitting around 100 megalitres per day. On 14 December prior to the arrival of the wet season, the creek was flowing at approximately 2.68 megalitres (average daily flow).

We would like to thank Canungra for reducing water use over the drought period. We know it wasn’t easy, and we’re extremely appreciative of the community’s efforts.

Together with Seqwater, we'll continue to monitor flows in Canungra Creek, which can change quickly during periods of low rainfall.

Even though we’re now out of drought, we still encourage everyone to use water wisely around the home and garden. 

Seqwater closely monitors flows in Canungra Creek, which can change quickly in response to weather and drought.

Seqwater and Urban Utilities have a joint plan to manage the drought response in Canungra, which is activated when flows in the creek fall below seven megalitres per day.

Seqwater is currently completing longer-term water security assessments for South East Queensland, including for off-grid communities. These plans will consider population growth, additional drinking water demand and future supply options.

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.

We know that early communication about drought response is important, especially for Canungra residents.

For updates on Canungra's water supply, sign up for email updates here and make sure you're following us on Facebook.

You can also join the conversation on WaterTalk, our online community hub. Visit the Canungra page here.

Have water restrictions been re-introduced in Canungra?

No (as at January 2024).

From August 2023, Canungra residents were being encouraged to use water wisely around their homes and gardens as flows in the town’s water source, Canungra Creek, dropped below 7 megalitres per day at the end of August. This triggered the 'Drought Readiness' phase of Urban Utilities and Seqwater's joint drought response plan for Canungra.

As of late 2023, Canungra Creek is flowing again, and water supply has returned to non-drought levels. Canungra is officially out of drought, however, we still remind the community to be mindful of their water usage. Seqwater will continue to closely monitor flows in Canungra Creek, which can change quickly during periods of low rainfall. 

When are water restrictions introduced under the drought response plan?

Under Canungra’s drought response plan, water restrictions are introduced when flows in the 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.  

We also take into account drought conditions, seasonal factors and water usage when introducing and lifting restrictions.

Water restrictions would primarily aim to reduce outdoor water use. We know Canungra is a water wise community and we appreciate the efforts of people who are continuing to work hard to save water. 

What role do Urban Utilities and Seqwater play supplying water to Canungra?

Our water supply partner, Seqwater is responsible for water supply and security in South East Queensland, and they operate the water treatment plant in Canungra.

Urban Utilities is responsible for delivering that treated water to around 450 homes and businesses in Canungra and treating all their wastewater.

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.

Residential customers can access this filling station as can commercial carters who transport water to off network households.

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.

The drought response plan for Canungra is activated when flows in Canungra Creek fall below seven megalitres per day.

Tankering water to the community is 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.

Please click here for further information on the Canungra Drought Response Plan.

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.

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.

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.

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

Seqwater is currently completing longer-term water security assessments for South East Queensland, including for off-grid communities. These plans will consider population growth, additional drinking water demand and future supply options.

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.

How will Seqwater and Urban Utilities ensure there is enough water to support future development and population growth in Canungra?

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

In 2019, Seqwater completed a $4 million upgrade of the Canungra Water Treatment Plant allowing it to treat 1.5 megalitres of water per day – four times more drinking water than the previous plant.

During times of drought, Seqwater will meet demand by tankering water to Canungra.

Seqwater is currently completing longer-term water security assessments for South East Queensland, including for off-grid communities. These plans will consider population growth, additional drinking water demand and future supply options.

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.

Sign up for emails about Canungra's water supply