Saving water

Water Usage in Dubbo


The table below shows the residential water consumption over recent days:

Date Water Consumption
 Thursday 25 May  377 L/person/day
 Wednesday 24 May  324 L/person/day
 Tuesday 23 May  332 L/person/day 
 Monday 22 May  372 L/person/day
 Sunday 21 May  288 L/person/day
 Saturday 20 May  250 L/person/day 
 Friday 19 May  268 L/person/day

Council has developed a procedure to estimate daily water consumption per person.

By reporting residential water consumption this way, Council hopes that residents will be better informed about their actual water usage, and then be able to take steps to curb it if necessary.

At present, there are no water restrictions in force in Dubbo.  At Council's Ordinary meeting on Monday 23 November 2009, Council adopted  Regional Water Restriction system (PDF 43.7KB), which had been developed collaboratively by the Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo (BOD) Alliance.

How does water usage in Dubbo compare to other centres?

Dubbo has a hot dry climate compared to other parts of NSW. While Sydney receives precipitation of about 1,200mm per year on average, and Orange receives about 880mm, Dubbo only receives 580mm precipitation per year on average. Dubbo has higher temperatures and therefore greater evaporation of precipitation that does fall. In addition many houses in Dubbo are fitted with evaporative coolers. These are only effective in areas of low humidity. For that reason they are almost unknown on the coast. While these units use water, they use much less electricity than the refrigerated air conditioners common on the coast.


Water Usage Compared to Permitted Water Usage (Water Licence)

The solid red line shows the cumulative water consumption that would just meet Dubbo's existing water extraction licences.  So that the City does not exceed the existing licence limits, the City water extraction must stay "below" this line.  The actual cumulative City water extraction each month is shown by the dotted line.


2015-2016 Water usage compared to permitted water usage (PDF 153.2KB).


How can I keep track of my water usage?

You can monitor your water usage simply by reading your water meter on a regular basis. By checking your meter regularly, you can keep a record of how much water you are using.

Council reads your water meter quarterly in order to establish your water usage, which recorded in kilolitres. . To find out how to monitor and record your water usage please read How to read your water meter (PDF 883.9KB)


Saving water

Council encourages water conservation. The following tips and guides will show you how to conserve water in the backyard and information on drought tolerant plants for a range of gardens.

  • Water only during the cooler part of the day
  • Avoid watering hard surfaces
  • Use a timer to prevent over watering
  • Use a trigger grip type hose nozzle

Savewater Gardens  (PDF 2.5MB)

Sustaining Gardens in dry times (PDF 5MB)

Climate change and its effect on water supply and usage

Climate change will have a profound effect on Council’s Water and Sewerage undertakings.

What does climate change mean for the water industry?

In Australia, the approach, quite sensibly, has always been to exploit the cleanest and closest water source. Typically this meant capturing runoff in large dams, in hilly or mountainous regions upstream of our major cities. The water quality in such large storages is quite good and the water can often flow under gravity to the city downstream in the valley.

Climate change means that rainfall will decrease and that rainfall events will be more intense but more sporadic.

Runoff will only occur when rain falls on already wet catchments. Climate change models predict that rainfall over much of Australia may fall by 10%. However, the probability that this reduced rainfall will fall on already wet catchments, generating runoff, is much less. Modelling indicates a 10% reduction in rainfall will see a 40% reduction in runoff. Another issue, already evident in Australia, is that bushfires and intense storms can result in runoff that causes serious degradation of water quality in the storage dams.   

With the existing dams now supplying less water, the water industry will have to go further afield to seek out poorer quality water sources, sources that would have been rejected in the past.

The problem with this is that these new water sources are expensive because of the cost, particularly of energy, to treat them and the cost, again in energy, to transport them to the cities. These high energy costs are also likely to increase sharply in price due to the economic impact of climate change.

Some of these new sources could be stormwater, sewage and even seawater. The adoption of these new sources will see a big increase in water costs over time. Until recently it was common for water to be available to city dwellers for less than one dollar a tonne on demand. In the future, it is likely there will be a major shift in the cost of water, to reflect these new higher cost water sources, and to replace cheap coal-based energy used to source and treat this water, with more expensive but renewable energy.    


Last Edited: 26 May 2017