Moderate water restrictions in force

Published on 08 February 2019

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Moderate water restrictions will come into force from Monday 11 February across the MidCoast Council region due to reduced river flows as a result of the sustained dry weather.

"Due to hot and dry weather, water restrictions are often necessary at this time of year in the MidCoast," said Council's Director of Water Services, Brendan Guiney.

"Whilst holiday visitors can increase the demand for water, our trigger levels are actually based on flows in the Manning River. Whenever the river is flowing well we can easily keep our dam storage full right through the summer season, when rainfall is following usual patterns."

“Restrictions are required when the flow of our rivers drop to a level we are unable to pump from. There is often comment from the community that we wait  to introduce restrictions until after the holiday period to allow our tourists to use water. This is not the case – the timing is due to the climate and river flows.”

“One or two recent storms in January maintained river flows otherwise we would have had to apply water restrictions sooner.”

Flows in the Manning River have dropped, and as a result the water supply for the Manning and Great Lakes area is drawing on the supply in Bootawa Dam.

The rivers providing water to the supplies in Gloucester, Stroud and Bulahdelah are also at low levels.

From Monday 11 February:

  • you can water outside using hand-held hoses, for one hour every second day, before 9am or after 4pm.  Garden irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes as part of the one hour allocation.
  • If your house number is an even number, water on the even days of the month; for houses with odd numbers, water on the odd days of the month, and there's no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. This includes topping up home pools;
  • In addition, use buckets, with trigger hose rinsing for washing cars and boats. If possible, always wash vehicles and flush boat motor engines on grassed areas - this will help keep your lawn alive;
  • Outdoor cleaning of driveways, paved areas, windows, walls and roofs should all be undertaken using buckets only.

The restrictions apply to households, businesses and public areas – with Council restricting their watering of parks and public areas also.

"In the past, we've experienced great support from our community when water restrictions are in force, and the community’s support in has made a real difference and has been appreciated."

Council is presently commissioning the new Nabiac Inland Dune Aquifer System, which will be used to supplement that harvested from the Manning River for use by customers of the Manning Scheme – which provides water to the Manning and Forster-Tuncurry areas.

This will assist with water security for the Manning Scheme by reducing reliance on the Manning River. Find out more about the scheme here.

Full details of the moderate restrictions are available via the attached Fact Sheet on this page.

Find out more about MidCoast Council's water restrictions system here.