Community Facing Higher Water Restrictions

4 years ago | by

With no significant rainfall forecast, Level 1 Water Restrictions will be introduced for the Coffs Harbour local government area on Monday, December 16, 2019 in an effort to reduce the demand on our stored water supplies.

As the drought continues, dam levels in the Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS) – which serves the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley communities – continue to drop.

“The trigger level for introducing Level 1 water restrictions is when the calculated combined storage of Karangi and Shannon Creek Dams falls to 80%. Currently, it is slightly above the 80% mark. But we monitor the water system on a daily basis which allows us to project the levels for the coming months and we anticipate hitting the 80% mark in the near future,” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure.

“With about half our average rainfall so far this year, we are now having to join the many other water authorities in NSW that have already had to move to higher level water restrictions.”

For Coffs Harbour, this will be the first time for 15 years that the community has faced water restrictions above our Permanent Water Conservation Measures, which were introduced in 2004.

The main difference between the current Permanent Water Conservation Measures and Level 1 Water Restrictions for residential users is that garden and lawn watering is only allowed with a hand-held hose for one hour every second day on odd and even calendar days.

While Level 1 water restrictions are aimed at reducing outdoor water use, the community can also help to make our stored water supplies last longer by reducing indoor water use. Examples of such measures include – fixing leaks, taking short showers, only use the dishwasher with full loads, use plugs in the sink, don’t leave taps or hoses running and keep cold water in the fridge.

Information on Water Restrictions for residential and non-residential users, saving water, current dam levels and more can be found on Council’s website.

Below are the permitted ways we can use water under Level 1 Restrictions:


  • Lawn and garden watering – every second day – on odd and even calendar days that match your house number – between the hours of 4pm – 9am only. Residents can use hand-held hoses for a maximum of ONE HOUR every allocated day and micro-sprays and drippers/sub-surface irrigation for a maximum of 15 MINUTES per allocated day.
  • Car washing – on lawn areas with no run-off into street.
  • Paved areas/driveways – hosing or pressure cleaning for health and/or safety reasons only.
  • Building maintenance (windows and roofs) – allowed with trigger nozzle hoses or pressure cleaners only.


  • Lawn and garden watering – sprinklers, fixed/unattended and hand-held hoses for maximum ONE HOUR/day between 7:00am-8:00am.
  • Building Industry New Turf – contact Council for approval.
  • Paved areas/footpaths – hosing or pressure cleaning where food is prepared and/or consumed or for health and safety reasons only.
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