Region set to move into level 2 water restrictions

At Monday night’s Ordinary Meeting of Council, my Mayoral Minute to move the Dubbo Region into level 2 water restrictions was endorsed by Council.
 
On Saturday, 1 June, the restrictions will come into effect.
 
This wasn’t an easy decision. Within Council we have been wrestling with this decision for some time. Dubbo has always been blessed with a very strong supply, especially with a plenty underground supply of water as well as the flow from Burrendong.
 
However as this terrible drought continues to drag on and we go longer without any significant rainfall, it became clear Council would have to take action.
 
Burrendong Dam is now down to just 6 per cent. Without considerable rainfall, it could be empty within 12 months according to Water NSW. This is a terrible situation and largely unprecedented.
 
The Macquarie River hasn’t run dry since Burrendong Dam was built in the 1960s.
 
This Council has the goal of being responsible and using good governance. The community has indicated they would support water restrictions so that also made our decision more straight forward.
 
I feel it is worth pointing out that Dubbo uses only a small percentage of the water that is released from Burrendong, with the majority of releases from the dam flowing to users further down the Macquarie.
 
It is also important to note we haven’t had our allocation cut by Water NSW yet, this is Dubbo choosing to take this action.
 
Level two water restrictions mainly impact the use of water outside the home. Watering of lawns, gardens and cars will all have to fall within guidelines. Outdoor watering will be restricted to every second day, between set hours. There is also no use of fixed sprinklers allowed.
 
The goal is to reduce the average water consumption per person to around 300 litres per day. This would be a rough reduction of 25 per cent. Given how much of the average home usage is dedicated to gardens, this should be achievable.
 
Council will also review watering practises for its own parks and gardens and adjust those.
 
More information on the water restrictions is available on Council’s website: dubbo.nsw.gov.au.
 
I would also like to congratulate Councillor Dayne Gumley on tabling a notice of motion addressing water security.
 
Councillor Gumley requested the CEO prepare a report for the June Ordinary Meeting of Council regarding Council’s existing and proposed water infrastructure and its ability to reduce the impact of drought on the local government area and work towards better water security.
 
***
 
Congratulations again to Mark Coulton. Just last week I was congratulating him on his re-election to the Federal seat of Parkes. In the last week he celebrated the birth of his first grandson and was given a Ministry position in the Morrison Government.
 
Mark will be the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government. There is no better advocate for regional areas in Parliament than Mark and he will do great in his new role.

Last Edited: 06 Jun 2019

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