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Wet weather brings hose relief to Queensland -

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Wet weather brings hose relief to Queensland

AM - Monday, 3 March , 2008 08:16:00

Reporter: Donna Field

PETER CAVE: People in Queensland's capital have been given a rare reprieve from the toughest water
restrictions in the country and allowed to pick up the hose for the first time in nearly two years.

While many parts of the state are still deep in drought, recent rain have swollen dams in the
south-east and authorities are looking at easing water restrictions.

Donna Field reports.

DONNA FIELD: This time last year Queensland Premier Anna Bligh was talking of an Armageddon
strategy if the south-east ran dry.

Fast forward a year with solid summer rains and things are more optimistic.

(Sounds of hosing)

The Queensland Water Commission is feeling so confident it's rewarded south-east Queenslanders for
their water conservation with an hour of hosing, a chance to water the plants and clean the car.

TIM VLUG: I don't actually know how to refit the fittings on the hose 'cause they've been
disconnected for so long, I don't know how to do it.

Ah, now I've got it.

TIM VLUG'S SON: You have to squeeze and then you plug it in.

TIM VLUG: Thank god you're here mate to tell me how to do it.

DONNA FIELD: Like most people in Brisbane, Tim Vlug has been careful with water. His family has met
the required usage target of 140 litres per person per day. A chance to hose is welcome, but he
says tough water restrictions are a good thing.

TIM VLUG: In many ways I think that level six should just be a fact of life, we've learnt that,
we've learnt how to live with it and the fact that we've just had some rain I don't think fixes the
problem. And that we just simply need to watch the use of our water and we seem to be handling it
quite well.

DONNA FIELD: Down the road, hosing in his new drought resistant garden, Peter Rutherford says it's
a privilege.

PETER RUTHERFORD: I mean the days of running through the garden hose, those days are gone for the
kids.

DONNA FIELD: He says any move to ease water restrictions should be approached cautiously.

PETER RUTHERFORD: I think it's fantastic we can do it but I think we also need to be careful, that
we're still only about 40 per cent, I mean we're 60 per cent empty so it's good to be able to use a
bit of it, but we want to use it conservatively.

DONNA FIELD: The Water Commission says the wet weekend was a trial to gauge how much water was
hosed away.

But Commissioner Elizabeth Nosworthy says the region's dams are nudging 39 per cent capacity and
hosing may soon be allowed on a more regular basis.

ELZABETH NOSWORTHY: If we move very quickly to the 40 per cent trigger then of course we'll move
straight into lower level of restrictions and we'll go to target 170, in which case people will
have a regular half hour of hosing per week anyway. But if that doesn't happen and we have a
prolonged dry spell after this weekend then we will have some more wet weekends.

PETER CAVE: Queensland's Water Commissioner Elizabeth Nosworthy, ending Donna Field's report.

Sydneysiders may soon get a reprieve too with the New South Wales Government considering allowing
them to hose down their cars.