Queensland eases water restrictions
Water restrictions have been eased in the Australian state of Queensland after heavy rain and a successful public campaign to conserve supplies have brought reservoir reserves back to a five-year high.
"I was delighted to hear this morning that the combined dam levels of Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine dams reached the trigger mark of 50%," said state Premier Anna Bligh.
"This means residents will be rewarded with an easing of water restrictions. South East Queenslanders will have more opportunities to use the hose in their gardens, wash their cars and - for the first time in three years - be able to use efficient garden irrigation and sprinklers."
Medium-level water restrictions are now in place as opposed to the tougher high-level restrictions.
The Queensland Water Commission says that the success of water conservation measures have been a combination of public support and industry efforts - particularly those of the irrigation, nursery and garden industries.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson encouraged communities to continue to use water wisely.
"It is great residents will have some extra water to use in and around their homes, however there is no excuse for wasting water," he said.
"Under Medium Level Restrictions, residents will be able to use an efficient irrigation system in their gardens during set days and times, depending on their house number.
"Residents can also use a bucket, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or twist action nozzle; or an efficient non-fixed sprinkler."
Water restrictions are taken seriously by the Australian public, with most recognising the need to conserve supply in the often-parched country.
In 2007 a 66-year-old man died in Sydney after he was assaulted by a neighbor who wrongly believed he was breaking water restrictions.