Reduced river flows and continuing dry weather mean water restrictions are being introduced across the Mid Coast.
From Monday, February 11, residents can water outside using hand-held hoses for one hour every second day, before 9am or after 4pm. Garden irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes as part of the one hour allocation.
If your house number is an even number, water on the even days of the month; for houses with odd numbers, water on the odd days of the month, and there's no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. This includes topping up home pools.
MidCoast Council’s director of water services, Brendan Guiney said flows in the Manning River have dropped, and as a result the water supply for the Manning and Great Lakes area is drawing on the supply in Bootawa Dam.
The rivers providing water to the supplies in Gloucester, Stroud and Bulahdelah are also at low levels.
Mr Guiney said water restrictions were common at this time of year, and explained that whilst holiday visitors can increase the demand for water, council’s trigger levels are based on flows in the Manning River.
“Whenever the river is flowing well we can easily keep our dam storage full right through the summer season, when rainfall is following usual patterns," he said. “Restrictions are required when the flow of our rivers drop to a level we are unable to pump from.
“There is often comment from the community that we wait to introduce restrictions until after the holiday period to allow our tourists to use water. This is not the case.
“One or two recent storms in January maintained river flows otherwise we would have had to apply water restrictions sooner.”