MidCoast Council look at water resources outlook for next few months

Water resources will remain low heading into the cooler months.
Water resources will remain low heading into the cooler months.

Water resources in the Mid Coast area are expected to be low heading into winter, according to a new report.

The report, presented to councillors at the March 27 MidCoast Council ordinary meeting in Taree, revealed a poor rainfall forecast for the next few months is likely to leave water resources low throughout autumn.

This trend looks to continue on from considerable dry conditions in the last year.

Limited rain throughout January and February left the Manning River very low at Killawarra.

Despite providing supplies to the Manning and Great Lakes during summer, Bootawa dam is full. The dam is filled by water from the Manning River. 

Water usage for the Manning scheme, the supply to residents between Crowdy Head and Tarbuck Bay, was high during winter in 2018 due to extended warm and dry conditions.

Usage dropped below median values due to a cool and wet spring before a high rise in the first months of 2019.

Elsewhere, water supplies are reliant on the Barrington River (Gloucester), Karuah River (Stroud) and Crawford River (Bulahdelah). Dry conditions also took a toll on these supplies.

Levels at the Tea Gardens/ Hawks Nest aquifer borefield have also suffered.

Moderate water restrictions were in place during February. This ended in most parts of the Mid Coast in early March and at Stroud and Bulahdelah two weeks ago.

Residents are encouraged to monitor consumption and use water efficiently during dry periods.

Rain is predicted for the Manning and Great Lakes in the next week.

The Forster area looks set for the biggest downpour, with 10 millimetres of rain expected. Taree will welcome about eight millimetres.

Smiths Lakes and Forster Tuncurry were the beneficiaries of the most rain in the Mid Coast area last week.

Decent rain was also welcomed in parts of Taree and Wingham.