While the Mid Coast continues to endure what has been an incredibly challenging eight months, it comes as some consolation that water shortages are no longer at the forefront of the community's concern.
As it stands, Bootawa Dam is at full capacity, thanks to a better than expected run of rainfall through the first five months of the year.
"We've only had 19 days out of 147 where some rain hasn't fallen in our catchments," MidCoast Council's infrastructure and engineering services director Rob Scott said.
"We've had an average of about 754mm across the catchment since the start of the year."
Given the bleak circumstances the community endured over summer and the economic ravages currently being felt across the region as a result of COVID-19, Mr Scott says it's reassuring to once again have a healthy supply of water.
With a number of new bores commissioned at the Nabiac Aquifer Borefield and Water Treatment Plant in early March, he says the community is also better placed to face future drought scenarios, with the borefield able to produce more than 200 days of water supply if the dam and catchments dry up.
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But thankfully that prospect doesn't look like getting tested any time soon.
The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) three-month outlook predicts average rainfall along Australia's East Coast throughout the winter months, with the possibility of above average rainfall in early Spring.
These predictions, coupled with the already strong rainfall the Mid Coast has experienced in 2020, has Mr Scott confident the community won't have to endure another summer of water restrictions.
"I'd say it's really low if things continue the way they are," he said.
"It's not impossible though, because as you know weather predictions can change."
Council's plan to construct a mobile desalination plant at the Nabiac facility, which caused outcry among the local fishing community in January because discharge from the plant would flow into the Wallamba River, has been shelved as a result of the healthy rainfall figures and the upgrades to the aquifer.
Mr Scott said if a mobile desalination plant was to be constructed in the future, council would do things differently.
"We would proceed with an ocean outlet," he said.
"The issue was all to do with time."
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The Peg Leg Creek Dam project at Tinonee, which aims to ensure water security in the Mid Coast in the long term, is still on the cards, but Mr Scott says there are no firm plans as to when it will be delivered.
"You're talking long time frames," he said.
"That will meet our demand for 30 to 50 years."
More immediately, council's focus is on improving the reliability of Gloucester's water supply, with detailed design set to get underway on two new reservoirs at council's existing Cemetery Road site, following ongoing issues with the town's current supply.
The project is estimated to cost $8.6 million and construction is due to start next year.
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