The recent bushfire emergency has placed further pressure on our water supply system in a particularly dry period and Council is asking residents to consider their ongoing water consumption.
With only around half the average rainfall happening so far this year, Council had already been carefully monitoring the water supply situation with a view to bringing in higher levels of water conservation measures. During this bushfire period, there was also an unexpected surge in use by the emergency services and residents fighting the fires, as well as an emergency supply of water back to Clarence Valley Council.
“We were very happy for the aircraft and firefighters on the ground to use whatever water they needed to help protect people and property and, eventually, bring the fires under control,” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure. “Our dam levels are now at a lower level than predicted at this point in time – which is why we’re asking people to give even more thought as to how they use water at home, work and play.”
Town water in the Coffs Harbour area usually comes from Karangi Dam, which is supplied by the Orara and Nymboida Rivers. When river levels are too low for extraction, water is pumped from the Shannon Creek Dam to keep Karangi topped up. Shannon Creek is the 30,000 megalitre water storage facility built by Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley Councils as part of our joint Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS).
“We have been pumping purely from Shannon Creek Dam since late last month, so the Coffs Harbour community is now relying on what we have stored in Karangi and Shannon Creek Dams to meet our water needs,” added Mr Raby.
“Both Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley Councils will continue to monitor rainfall, the water level of the dams and daily water use by our communities, and will consider introducing Level 1 water restrictions by Christmas if necessary.”
Council brought in permanent water conservation measures in 2004 as a daily reminder for all of us to be careful with water.
- Sprinklers and fixed/unattended hoses are banned between 9.00am and 4.00pm.
- Garden/lawn watering with a hand held hose is permitted at any time.
- Building maintenance, including window cleaning, allowed with trigger nozzle hoses or pressure cleaners only.
- Hosing any hardstand area, eg driveway, is banned except for health and safety reasons or with pressure cleaners.
- Car washing is allowed providing, where practical, the runoff is onto a lawn and not down the drain.
Information on daily dam water levels can be found on Council’s website.