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Although Toowoomba city council has not publicly accused anyone of breaking water restrictions, it identified 200 water abusers and has threatened to publish their names in the local newspaper.

This is the latest desperate tactic taken by the council of Toowoomba, Australia’s second largest inland city after the capital Canberra.

Previous proposals included recycling sewage into drinking water, a project that raised strong protests from local residents and sparked a group called “Citizens Against Drinking Sewage.”

Toowoomba deputy mayor Joe Ramia said that “naming and shaming” residents who abuse water in the local newspaper, the Toowoomba Chronicle, would only be used as a last resort after speaking to the residents in question.

The town would run out of water within a year if rain didn’t fall in the coming months, authorities have warned.

Parts of Australia including inland Queensland where Toowoomba is located have experienced low rainfall combined with high temperatures since the beginning of the year.

Goska Romanowicz

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