Dubbo region to move to higher water restrictions in coming weeks

As of Tuesday, 1 October, the Dubbo region will move to level three water restrictions, and one month later we will move to level 4.

It is no secret that there is concern about the amount of water left in Burrendong Dam, and as a community we have to work together to ensure that we reduce our water usage and conserve our precious water resource in case there is no significant rain in our catchment over the coming months.

There has been plenty of media coverage and discussion around the region about our water security in recent weeks but unfortunately, it hasn’t all been correct.

What is right: Our situation is serious. Burrendong Dam is at 4 per cent and continuing to fall. There will also be added pressure placed on the groundwater that also provides a portion of Dubbo’s drinking water as we draw more water from bores under our current allocations.

Council has been advised by WaterNSW that in a worst case scenario, the Macquarie River will “cease to flow” on 1 May 2020. With no rain or no inflows to Burrendong, Council will be unable to draw from the river after that date and would have to find alternative sources of water to provide to residents.

Council is investigating all options including the drilling of more bores to spread the load and allow our groundwater to provide a bigger percentage of our total needs, but this alone isn’t the answer.

Other options could include the use of treated effluent, stormwater harvesting, the re-use of backwash water from the water filtration plant, or new pipelines between water sources for Wellington and Dubbo.

Council will continue to work with the NSW Government, water licence holders and others to secure water for the Dubbo region until this drought breaks but we need the support of the community.

Once level 3 water restrictions begin, water systems, non-fixed and fixed sprinklers are no longer allowed to be used for watering of lawns or gardens. Drip systems, soaker hoses, and handheld hoses with triggers are permitted every second day on the odds and evens system between 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm during winter time and 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm during summer time. There is no hosing of walls or paved surfaces.

Washing cars and filling of pools will also have more restrictions.

It is also a good time for you to focus on your overall water usage – learn to read your water metre and plan how you can maximise and think about ways that you can help make a difference. Making sure your washing machine or dishwasher is full before starting it is an easy way to be more efficient. Looking for opportunities to reuse water, maybe on gardens or lawn, can help you to maximise savings and help keep your gardens green.

For more information including all details of level 3 and 4 water restrictions, visit https://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/droughthub.

If we all work together, we can get through this tough period but we all need to focus on reducing our water consumption as much as possible.

Last Edited: 10 Feb 2020

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