Drought and hot weather bite local water supplies

January 16, 2019

Gwydir Shire Council has imposed Level 1 Water Restrictions to water supplies in Bingara, Gravesend, North Star and Warialda. Restrictions began on Monday, January 7, and are estimated to remain in force until the end of February. The use of sprinklers or fixed hand held hoses are prohibited between 8am and 8pm.

The restrictions were introduced because all of the Council’s water supplies are struggling to keep up with demands, and reservoirs are unable to replenish, remaining at a critical level. This week’s scorching weather and no significant rain predicted will, no doubt, further exacerbate the situation.

Residents can use water between 8pm and 8am, and are urged to mulch gardens, wash cars on the lawn, use grey water, and other water-wise tips to help keep their gardens alive.

Level 1 is the lowest of five categories of water restrictions. Level 2 prohibits watering between 8am and 8pm, and only allows two hours on alternate nights in the night.

The most severe, Level 5, prohibits all outside watering. Council is monitoring the situation daily, and if the supply levels cannot be maintained, a higher level of restriction could be introduced.

The Gwydir News understands that water currently being released from Copeton Dam (2,840 megalitres) is largely environmental flow to replenish the Gwydir Wetlands. Copeton Dam water level currently stands at 14 percent of capacity. Keepit Dam is below half of one percent capacity.