Water crisis spreads to SEQ

Australia’s water crisis is spreading north from New South Wales into South East Queensland (SEQ):

Queensland’s combined dam level capacity had fallen to 60 per cent in the south-east of the state for the first time in 11 years, Seqwater says.

External relations manager Mike Foster said it was at the lowest level since the Millennium drought broke back in 2008 and the region’s largest dam, Wivenhoe Dam north of Brisbane, has fallen below 50 per cent.

Subsequently, Seqwater has ordered production at the Tugun desalination plant on the Gold Coast to be increased significantly…

“We are certainly not in dire straits from a water supply perspective, but as of today, the first phase of our drought-response plan for the region is being implemented.”

Obviously, SEQ is far better placed than New South Wales, where the water situation is becoming dire.

That said, Queensland’s population is projected by the state government to nearly double to 9.6 million people by 2061:

Thus, when added to the reduced rainfall and higher evaporation rates from climate change, SEQ’s long-term water security is looking fragile.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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