Rain fills water tanks in drought-hit Qld

The Storm King Dam near Stanthorpe saw rain but a lack of runoff has kept it near empty.
The Storm King Dam near Stanthorpe saw rain but a lack of runoff has kept it near empty.

Rural residents in drought-stricken areas of southern Queensland are celebrating full water tanks from weekend rainfall.

The rainfall has also allowed the statewide fire ban for national parks and forests to be lifted this week.

Stanthorpe recorded more than 75mm from Friday, days after the region officially ran out of water.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said many rural residents in the area had their domestic water tanks filled from the downpour.

There was direct rainfall into the town's main water supply, Storm King Dam, but a lack of runoff from catchments has kept the dam at near-empty.

But Ms Dobie says any further rainfall would have to be significant to break the drought.

"We need six months' worth of water to cease water trucking," Ms Dobie told AAP on Monday.

"The dam received one week's worth of water, but any more rain could see runoff into the dam."

She said donations made to the region recently from individuals and corporations have helped residents and businesses survive.

"Some of our people would not have got this far without them," Ms Dobie said.

The state government is finalising plans for a pipeline to cart water from Toowoomba to Stanthorpe.

It is expected to cost millions of dollars and would be built by the end of the year if it gets budget approval.

On Monday, the Queensland Environment Department lifted the statewide fire ban that has been in place since November, following severe fire conditions.

The fire ban was lifted in line with Queensland Fire and Emergency Service cancelling local government fire ban declarations, also taking recent rainfall into account.

However, fire bans in the North Burnett, South Burnett, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Noosa and Sunshine Coast local government areas are still in place.

Further storms are expected for southeast Queensland after as much as 350mm of rain fell in some areas.

Brisbane could see up to 30mm of rain on Monday according to the weather bureau, which also forecasts heatwave conditions across the state for much of the week.

Heavy falls caused flash flooding at the weekend, which shut down major roads and caused delays.

Statewide dam levels rose by about one per cent after the weekend rain.

Little Nerang Dam in the Gold Coast Hinterland is near capacity, with Seqwater recording the dam at 96 per cent full, up from 72.5 per cent on Friday.

Leslie Harrison Dam near Warwick is almost at 60 per cent according to Seqwater, up from 53.9 per cent.

Australian Associated Press