Water deliveries expected to triple in coming weeks
HOMEOWNERS are going days without water, and farmers are as thirsty for deliveries as ever with the drought continuing to test the region’s dwindling water reserves.
Despite good rain at the start of the year, a local water carting operation is still delivering water around the region 25 times a week.
Lockyer Town Water owner Mick Lutton said he had been busier in December last year, but was still delivering a dozen loads of water to farmers every week and expected to soon be run off his feet again.
“(January) was a fair amount of rain, around 100mm. That will give us four weeks off usually,” Mr Lutton said.
Coronavirus has also changed the way residents are buying water.
Mr Lutton expected demand to increase with more people staying at home, but he was proved wrong.
“You’d think they’d use more, but when you think about it really – they’re not getting up in the morning and having a shower before work. They’re not having one when they get home,” he said.
“So they’re using less water.”
Residents are also waiting longer to buy water.
Mr Lutton said during summer, most customers were booking deliveries long before they would run out, but now they’re leaving it to the last drop.
Worryingly, he said many older residents and farmers found it difficult to ask for help when it came to water deliveries.
“I’ve come across people that have gone without water for two weeks,” he said.
The water carter has partnered with the Lockyer Community Centre to offer water vouchers for those in desperate need and encouraged farmers and residents to contact the centre if they needed water delivered.
Driving around the region daily, Mr Lutton said he could see first-hand just how devastating the drought continues to be.
The hardest hit have, of course, been cattle producers.
When Mr Lutton first took over the carting business two years ago, he said it was rare to deliver water for cattle.
Now, it’s one of his most common trips.
And without good rain soon, he expects to be making up to 60 deliveries a week.
Anyone needing assistance to buy water should contact the Lockyer Community Centre on 5462 3355.