For the first time in more than a decade, MidCoast Water has had to impose water restrictions in a bid to slow down demand on supplies.
Level 3 restrictions are now in force and apply to residents supplied by the Manning scheme - those in the area between Crowdy Head in the north and Tarbuck Bay in the south.
General manager Robert Loadsman said the water authority had no choice but to impose the restrictions, with the level of the Manning River falling to levels not experienced since the 2002-03 drought and no significant rain forecast.
“We are reliant on flows in the Manning River for water supplies in the Manning and Great Lakes and with those levels falling below 25 megalitres a day – the lowest we have seen since November 2002 - we are now relying on water stored in Bootawa Dam to provide water to our service area.”
The restrictions will affect domestic and commercial usage and are effective immediately. Active playing areas will be under a managed program with our constituent local councils.
Mr Loadsman has called on the community to observe the restrictions to ensure we have adequate supplies should the dry continue.
“This is a challenging time for our community, but if we all work together to save water we will ensure there is enough for essential needs should the situation continue to worsen.”
“Although we acknowledge the demand for water will reduce now that the peak of the tourist season has passed we still need to further reduce consumption.”
“We have delayed the implementation of restrictions as long as we can, however we are dependent on the flow of the rivers to supply water and while recent rains have been welcome, they have not bolstered the river levels to what we need to sustainably extract for our communities.”
As well as falling river levels, usage has been increasing with daily usage up at 30 million litres a day on Monday during the hottest of the recent weather.
Stage 3 restrictions ban the use of sprinklers and fixed hoses at all times, and limit the use of hand-held hoses to one hour every second day and micro-spray systems to 15 minutes every second day.
Details of the stage three restrictions are available from MidCoast Water offices, via the customer service line on 1300 133 455 or on our website at www.midcoastwater.com.au