Water Restrictions Eased to Assist residents with COVID-19 Pandemic

The easing of water restrictions for the Dubbo region will assist residents who are self-isolating or working from home to ensure they are able to stay within usage limits, Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields said.

Councillors voted to move from level 4 to level 3 restrictions at the March Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday night.

Councillor Shields said the changes, which will come into effect on Monday, 30 March 2020, would be timely as there is need for increased hygiene practises to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am very glad that after careful evaluation by Council staff, we have been able to reduce water restrictions. We know there are already large numbers of people who are working from home and there will be the need to self-isolate when the virus reaches Dubbo so it is only natural that people will need to use more water,” Councillor Shields said.

“This will allow for more handwashing, more washing of clothes and more general cleaning around the home.

“Thankfully the recent above average rainfall in the catchment area for Burrendong Dam has resulted in an increase from 1.49% to 6.54%, with inflows continuing.

“This allows us to reduce restrictions without jeopardising future water availability.”

For Dubbo Region residents, the new target will be 320 litres per person per day, a modest increase from the 280 required under level 4.

Councillor Shields said the move to level 3 would also provide some much-needed relief for local businesses who had been hit hard when stricter level 4 restrictions were implemented in November 2019.

“Our community has responded really well to the challenge of the worst drought on record and the shrinking dam levels. Thankfully the recent rain has provided us with some critical inflows in the Burrendong Dam catchment and allowed us to move to level 3,” Councillor Shields said.

“I know businesses like nurseries, turf farms, pool shops and others were heavily impacted when level 4 restrictions were enacted so I hope they will benefit from the changes.

“However there isn’t room for complacency, especially for residential usage. Level 3 restrictions allow for some additional activities but people still need to be mindful of the daily usage targets and adhere to them.”

A review will be conducted in July 2020 to determine if water restrictions will need to be adjusted.

Last Edited: 17 Jun 2020

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