Water restrictions could kick in soon as dam levels drop
WATER restrictions could be triggered sooner than planned in parts of the Northern Rivers.
Rous County Council is in consultations with its constituent councils to consider implementing water restrictions in areas where water is supplied from Rocky Creek Dam once it hits 70 per cent capacity, instead of the current 60 per cent threshold.
From Rocky Creek Dam, Rous County Council supplies water to urban areas of the Byron Shire (excluding Mullumbimby), parts of the Richmond Valley including Coraki, Evans Head, Broadwater, Riley's Hill and Woodburn as well as a number of urban areas in the Ballina and Lismore LGAs.
Rous County Council chairperson Cr Keith Williams said the proposal was in response to a bleak summer outlook.
"The forecast for this summer is not what we want to see," Cr Williams said.
He said it would be a "real concern" to see a repeat of conditions in which the dam dropped to 40 per cent capacity as it had in the early 2000s.
Cr Williams said Rocky Creek Dam had dropped from 83 to 81 per cent in the past two weeks.
While the water authority engages with local councils, he said it was vital for residents to reduce their water use now, to delay restrictions and cement better long-term habits.
"We need to be conserving water now and not waiting until we put in restrictions," he said.
Cr Williams was hopeful they would reach some agreement with the councils before the dam level reaches 70 per cent capacity.
Those in Rous County Council's supply area have been using an average of 190 litres per person per day, but the water authority's encouraging everyone to reduce that to 160, a difference of about three buckets a day.
This is a goal general manager Phillip Rudd said was focused on implementing long term change.
Tenterfield Shire Council is meanwhile undertaking further work to secure multiple water supply bores, after one successful find near the Tenterfield Transport Museum.
Mullumbimby, Kyogle and Casino are at Level One, Two, and Three water restrictions respectively while Level 4.7 restrictions apply in Tenterfield.
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