Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley Councils – partners in the Regional Water Supply Scheme – will be easing water restrictions for their communities back to Permanent Water Conservation Measures from Wednesday, 16 June 2021.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight thanked all residents and businesses who did their bit to conserve our water supplies after severe drought led to the introduction of Level 1 Water Restrictions in December 2019.
“Thank you to everyone who helped the community by sticking with the Level 1 Water Restrictions all this time,” she said. “We understand people may have been inconvenienced at times, but the Water Restrictions were very necessary to ensure the security of our water supply.
“While we’re returning to the usual Permanent Water Conservation Measures, I’d urge everyone to please continue the water-saving habits they adopted during the Level 1 Restrictions.”
Permanent Water Conservation Measures (PWCM) were introduced in Coffs Harbour in 2004 and permit hand-held hoses for watering gardens and lawns at any time. Sprinklers can be used, but are banned between 9am and 4pm. Pressure cleaning of hardstand areas, such as driveways, is permitted, but the use of hoses is banned unless for health and safety reasons, or where food is prepared or consumed at non-residential properties.
Full details of PWCM are available on Council’s website www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/water
“Floods in the drought and bushfire-affected catchments of the Nymboida River in early 2020 – and subsequent heavy rainfall events – caused ongoing water quality issues, which saw the Level 1 Water Restrictions remain in force following the end of the drought,” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure.
“Issues with the river water intake infrastructure also limited the amount of clean water which could be taken from the Nymboida River to replenish water levels in Shannon Creek Dam. In addition, millions of litres of water had to be released from the Dam to maintain the environmental health of catchment waterways to meet licencing requirements.
“The river water intake infrastructure is now operating as normal, environmental releases are completed and river water quality issues have also eased.
“As a result, recent extraction from the Nymboida River into Shannon Creek Dam has been increased to around 50 megalitres per day, which has seen the level of the water in the Dam rise to around 84%.
“As Shannon Creek Dam is the bulk drinking water storage facility for our Regional Water Supply Scheme, our focus is now on getting the Dam to full capacity as quickly as possible while river conditions allow.”
Council’s smaller Karangi Dam in the Orara River catchment is also now at around 99% capacity. The combined water storage of Shannon Creek Dam and Karangi Dam is considered when introducing or lifting water restrictions.