Talk of "day zero" and Dubbo running out of water not true

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Over recent weeks so much has been said and written about Dubbo's water situation. Most of the focus has been about the doom and gloom we find ourselves in.

The situation is serious and that is why Council voted for tighter water restrictions. However talk of 'day zero' and the city running dry is media hype.

Water restrictions are about extending the region's supply so there will still be water when the drought does break and the dam floods.

If we all work together to reduce our water consumption, we can improve our situation.

Level 3 water restrictions that are in place now focus on reducing outside water consumption for lawns, gardens and pools.

Level 4 restrictions, which come into force on November 1, will further reduce that but also look at reduced indoor usage.

However I would ask everyone to try and go beyond the basics and start thinking about ways to be smarter. Looking at ways to reduce consumption and reuse grey water, such as putting buckets in the shower, redirecting water from washing machines onto gardens and making sure the washing machine or dishwasher is full before you turn it on.

When it comes to outdoor water use though, it might be time to make some tough decisions. Dubbo has always been a green oasis in a dry climate but these times call for difficult measures and one is to seriously restrict the amount of water we use on our gardens.

If you start making those decisions about which plants you want to prioritise or how to utilise grey water on your gardens, it will set you up well for when high restrictions come into force.

Rest assured Council is working with the government and other parties to explore our options for additional water options and to extend those we already have.

This includes searching for more groundwater through bores but this is only one option, and because of restrictions on the amount of groundwater we can use, this won't solve everything.

Council's staff are exploring a vast array of options including pipelines, stormwater retention and the way we use our treated effluent.

Some of these ideas are very exciting and could not only help us get through the current drought but could also play a role in making the city more drought resistant in the future. This would be a great outcome.

But until such time as the drought breaks, we will have to be extremely careful with how we use our water.

This involves a change in mentality but I believe the people of the Dubbo Region are capable of it and by working together as a community, we can make genuine change to cut our water usage.

I would ask everyone to stay up to date on the current water restrictions so they can be aware of what obligations are.

Council’s website is a great source of information and I would encourage everyone to head there to find water savings ideas. Visit https://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/droughthub for more.

Last Edited: 14 Oct 2019

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