Water restrictions may be necessary if the hot dry spell continues beyond the next three to four weeks or water usage increases, advises MidCoast Water.
While temperatures have reached record highs, and river levels have dropped, the community’s responsible use of water has meant a stay on any implementation of water restrictions at this point in time, says general manager Ken Gouldthorp.
MidCoast Water operates five water supply systems across the region covering the Manning, Great Lakes, Bulahdelah, Stroud, Gloucester and Tea Gardens areas. All supplies, other than the Tea Gardens supply which is a groundwater source, are dependent on local rivers.
Mr Gouldthorp says river levels and water consumption are constantly monitored and the current hot dry weather impacts on water supplies in two ways - the lack of rain means source supplies are not replenished and the heat often results in more water use than usual.
The Manning scheme, which supplies customers from Crowdy Head in the north to Tarbuck Bay in the south and west to Krambach, relies on storage in Bootawa Dam and flows in the Manning River.
“With flows in the Manning River decreasing from an average of 4000 – 5000 million litres per day to just over 100 million litres per day, we are carefully watching the forecasts.”
Mr Gouldthorp says that while pumping has stopped at Stroud due to the very low river levels, the off-river storage is being utilised and there is over 100 days of water available in storage.
“We do thank our community for their responsible water use and ask that everyone continues to be mindful of their water use over the coming weeks.”