'Worst Drought In Living Memory': Aussie Town To Dry Up By Christmas
The town of Stanthorpe is facing an almost unfathomable crisis -- it could run out of water entirely by Christmas.
Residents in the southern Queensland town have been put on 'critical' restrictions of just 100 litres a day, and the council is scrambling to organise trucks to cart water in order to keep the taps on.
The town's mayor says they're battling the worst drought in living memory.
"I don't like the word disaster. I don't like the word emergency. But that's what it is," Cr Tracy Dobie said.
The Storm King dam, about 10 minutes out of town, is down to around 25 percent capacity, and there's no rain expected anytime soon.
The plan to truck water into the town will cost upwards of a million dollars every month.
It's money the council doesn't have.
The mood on Stanthorpe's main street is bleak.
Many people can't remember the last time they saw proper rain and fear the town will be ruined if the drought doesn't break.
"It'll be months and months and months and months, then it'll get dark and the clouds will come over, but then poof... They disappear," one resident said.
In a region renowned for its apples, stonefruits and wineries, growers are feeling the pinch like never before.
Some are said to have spent as much as sixty thousand dollars a week trucking in water just to keep their crops alive.
Ann Bourke from Jester Hill wines has already decided to sacrifice next season's vintage because there simply isn't enough water.
She'll stop short of pulling out her vines entirely- that's the last resort which would mean another six years before she's able to harvest grapes.
"It's a crisis. It really is a crisis... The state government's got to put their hand in their pocket and help," she said.