Level 3 Water Restrictions turned on in Douglas Shire
Douglas Shire Council 21 Nov 2019

COUNCIL has placed a temporary ban on sprinklers and irrigation systems in the Douglas Shire as tinder dry conditions force level three water restrictions for the second year in a row.

High consumption and a lack of rainfall has contributed to a rapid drop in water levels at the Rex Creek Intake – the main water source for Port Douglas and Mossman.

The latest Bureau of Meteorology Climate Outlook, released this month, predicts a drier and hotter than average end to the year.

Douglas Shire Council has ordered its outdoors crews to minimise water usage and sprinkler patrols will be ensuring compliance with the restrictions.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu urged everyone to decrease water usage, particularly in the backyard and gardens.

“The past couple of years have been unusually dry and Council is left with no choice but to prepare for further drier conditions and impose more strict restrictions,” she said.

“We are asking people to help us save water, ditch the sprinklers and limit your water usage to essential household tasks.

“Council will be working with our heavy water users to reduce demand from our water supply.”

Water levels have dipped below 100mm and Council’s water extraction is limited by its State Government licence.

Current usage is about 12.5 ML per day, or almost five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

To put that in perspective, the new Port Douglas Water Supply Reservoir has a 20ML capacity.

Level three water restrictions allows watering daily from 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm with a hand held hose only, which must be attended at all times.

It also strictly prohibits using sprinklers and irrigation systems on gardens and previous exemptions are invalid for this period.

Find out what Level 3 Water Restrictions means for you by visiting the Water Restrictions page on Council’s website.

How can I help save water?

The Queensland Government has many tips on how to save water at your home. Douglas Shire Council is encouraging everyone – from residents to holiday homeowners to resorts – to make sure their sprinklers are turned off.

Few other handy tips include:


Use a broom to sweep outdoor areas rather than hosing them down. Use a bucket when washing your car or boat, and try to wash it on the lawn.


Use a pool cover. A properly fitted pool cover can stop up to 97% of evaporation and reduce the amount of chemicals required to treat the water. Check your pool for leaks. A tiny leak could result in a large amount of water loss.

Learn how to save water around the home by visiting the Queensland Government website for more information.

Water Security looking forward

Council has strategies in place to handle the region’s water security issue moving forward.

Staff are currently reviewing design options for an additional raw water extraction site in the Mossman catchment, which was a key recommendation in the 2018 Regional Water Supply Security Assessments report.