Sydney: An Australian farming town could be abandoned unless rain comes soon to fill reservoirs, reports said on Wednesday.
The 3,000 residents in the Queensland town of Cloncurry have just four months’ supply of drinking water.
“Our final option is evacuation. It’s the final straw,” Mayor Andrew Daniels told The Sydney Morning Herald. “We’ve obviously got a lot of options up our sleeve before that happens, but people are getting desperate.”
Town officials have banned the use of water for anything other than drinking, cooking and washing.
Its principal dam fell below 15-per-cent capacity following two years without significant rainfall.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is calling for more assistance for farmers in the 69 per cent of Queensland that is affected by drought because of poor rains.
“Once the drought goes on for a certain period of time, you can’t plan for it; it becomes a crisis,” Joyce told national broadcaster ABC.
Joyce toured parched areas of Queensland at the weekend, consoling farmers who have had to shoot livestock because they have no feed for them.
The last drought in eastern Australia broke in 2008 with heavy rains that filled reservoirs to overflowing, and drowned tens of thousands of livestock.