Due to the continuing drought conditions and as temperatures start to climb, water conservation measures are being increased across the Liverpool Plains Shire (LPS).
Effective Wednesday 6 November, Werris Creek water supply moves to level 2 water restrictions while all the other Shire water supplies at Quirindi, Wallabadah, Willow Tree, Spring Ridge, Caroona, Premer and Blackville will be on level 1 restrictions.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, said that compared to many areas around NSW the Shire’s town and village water supplies have been fortunate to largely avoid restrictions during the current drought conditions to date, however the continued dry conditions makes it important for consumers to be water wise to conserve what water we have. He said that with longer range forecasts predicting extended drier than average conditions there is no room for complacency. He pointed out that if everyone is responsible and abides by the restrictions consumers will be contributing to extending the life of their water supply that will continue to dwindle until substantial falls occur in the catchment areas.
“The water restrictions being put in place focus on outdoor water use reduction; however, changes can also be made inside the home. There are a lot of resources currently available to people interested in reducing their water usage further,” he said
“A lot of water is wasted through evaporation if you water during the heat of the day. Level 2 measures include no sprinklers at any time and use of handheld hoses and dripper systems from 6pm to 8pm only. These measures apply to existing Quipolly pipeline raw water customers as well.
“Level 1 measures call for sprinklers and other fixed surface watering systems to only be used between 6pm and 8pm. However, on Level 1 all other watering methods are allowed between 6pm and 8am,” he continued.
“Quipolly Dam continues to drop, with no inflow into the dam since 2016. It is a sobering thought that if Council hadn’t had the vision to augment the dam people who get their supply from this source would be now facing much stricter restrictions at this point in time.
“All other town and village supplies are sourced from bores and the levels in these bores are decreasing to the point where the new restrictions needed to be implemented. Again, Council’s initiative to secure supply to Willow Tree by means of the pipeline and installation of an additional bore at Wallabadah has saved these centres from much higher restrictions and possibly the need to have water trucked in as was required before these improvements were undertaken,” he said.
Council’s Water Services Manager, Rod Batterham, said recent water bills were issued with a booklet outlining water saving ideas and tips as well as a summary of the water conservation rules. He said copies of these are available from the LPSC Administration Centre and that there are links to these and other water saving tips on Council’s website. Water Conservation tips can be accessed at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/water-services-2/water-conservation-tips. Water restriction information is available at http://lpsc.nsw.gov.au/index.php/water-services-2/water-restriction-information.
Mr Batterham also pointed out that any property with a town water connection planning to use an alternative water source such as rainwater or private bore supply outside the restrictions must apply to Council for a Water Management Plan and display the sign issued by Council at the front of their property.
“No one can forecast when we might get the necessary rain needed to replenish water supplies. For this reason, everyone is urged to abide by the restrictions and where possible to take other steps to conserve water. The restrictions being implemented now are not onerous. If we are forced to go to Level 3 restrictions use of sprinklers, drippers and hoses is banned and use of buckets is restricted to 6pm to 8pm. Level 4 and 5 restrictions would see no watering at any time, no washing down of outside areas or vehicles at any time and no filling or topping up of pools.
“Let’s be water conscious, water wise and protect this vital asset to forestall the need for even tougher restrictions as long as possible” Councillor Hope concluded.