A Drought Water Restrictions Policy, which includes the water restrictions that would be implemented in the event of drought conditions in the Tweed, goes on exhibition for public comment today.
Tweed Shire Council is inviting comments on the draft policy, including the water restrictions, which are now on exhibition from 5 November 2012 until 3 December 2012.
The draft policy outlines the drought restrictions regime for the Bray Park and Uki water supply schemes, which cater for about 99 per cent of water consumers in the Tweed. The policy sets out when drought water restrictions would be implemented, when they would be lifted, how the community would be notified about the restrictions and their enforcement.
The drought water restrictions included in the draft policy cover a range of sectors connected to the public water supply and aim to minimise impacts on the community, while reducing unnecessary water use as the restriction level increases.
The water restrictions were previously exhibited by Council late last year. As no changes to the restrictions resulted from the exhibition process, the same restrictions are now included in the draft policy.
The water restrictions encompass levels 2, 4, 6 and 7. Not all levels of water restrictions are included due to the rapid drop in dam level once drought conditions occur.
‘All water users connected to the Tweed District Water Supply Scheme would be affected by the implementation of water restrictions but the impacts have been kept to a minimum, while still aiming to achieve the required reduction in overall water use at each level,’ mayor of Tweed, Councillor Barry Longland, said.
‘As the residential sector accounts for the majority of water usage in the Tweed, emphasis has been placed on restricting residential water use in the first instance, followed by restrictions on business and commercial water use as the level of water restriction increases.
‘This enables business and commercial premises and water users to continue operating as normally as possible, for as long as possible, without undue hardship, which has been an important consideration,’ he said.
While the water restrictions do not restrict indoor water use, studies elsewhere have found that during water restrictions, many people reduce their indoor water use as well.
The Drought Water Restrictions Policy is only one component of Council’s approach to ensuring water security. It is not intended to use the restrictions as a mechanism to reduce water demand unless they are triggered during drought conditions.
Council’s strategies for demand management, water supply augmentation, emergency supply options and business continuity planning are the other key parts of Council’s water security framework.
Members of the community who wish to review the draft policy can get more information by:
- visiting the ‘On Exhibition’ section of Council’s website at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au
- viewing a copy of the Draft Drought Water Restrictions Policy at Council’s Customer Service Centres in Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads, as well as the libraries in Kingscliff, Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah
- contacting Council’s demand management program leader, Elizabeth Seidl, on 02 6670 2400
- emailing Council at [email protected]
Anyone wanting to make a comment about the draft policy, including the draft water restrictions can send a written submission to Council by:
- emailing to [email protected]
- mail to: General Manager, Tweed Shire Council, PO Box 816, Murwillumbah NSW 2484.