Calls to check tanks sparked by our driest February yet

HOT FEBRUARY: C&M Water Cartage proprietor Leslie Cullen says it's been a busy month as farmers do their best to survive the driest February on record.
HOT FEBRUARY: C&M Water Cartage proprietor Leslie Cullen says it's been a busy month as farmers do their best to survive the driest February on record. Jim Alouat

IT'S official: Bundaberg has experienced its driest February on record with a paltry 1.8mm of rain falling last month, leaving farmers across our region desperate for water relief.

It's the driest month in more than a century - eclipsing the previous record held for February in 1892 when 2.9mm of rain fell, according to Bureau of Meteorology data.

It means for our last summer period a total of 240.2mm of rain fell with December (182mm) and January (56.4mm) making up a large portion of the summer rainfall.

C&M Water Cartage proprietor Leslie Cullen has been delivering water to residents across the region for about 13 years and is warning people to fill up their tanks before it's too late.

"What I would stress the most is that people are probably a lot lower on water than they usually are at this time of year,” he said.

"Most people are not checking their tanks.

"In two or three weeks' time if we don't get any rain then you'll be waiting for more than a week to be topped up.”

Mr Cullen said people with two tanks are probably okay, but those with one tank are probably almost running on empty.

"The impact for customers if they do wait too long is they could ruin their pipes,” he said.

"Not every time, but if the pump doesn't trip out they are up for a new pump which costs between $800 and $1000.”

Two continuous months of searing temperatures and little rain has left Mr Cullen flat out like a lizard drinking as he is inundated with calls from residents he hasn't heard from in years.

"I had one customer I went out to three or four days ago Invicta, near Avondale,” he said.

"He said we hadn't been out to his property since 2008.”

Mr Cullen has been kept busy providing dust suppression on industrial sites such as the Knauf Plasterboard facility at the Port of Bundaberg as well as watering trees, plants and turf at a subdivision at Bargara.

"I've been putting 50,000 litres of water per day out there (Bargara),” he said.

"I've been going out to Mt Perry, Gin Gin, Deep Water, Baffle Creek, Yandaran and around town.

"I'd hate to think how many kilometres I've done.”

Topics:  dry weather farmers irrigation rain

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