A hot, dry summer is about to get a little drier for residents of Casino and the surrounding area.
Due to the low rainfall in the catchment areas and falling river levels, residents who receive a town water supply will be subject to level one water restrictions from Wednesday January 16.
Level one water restrictions are triggered when the flow in the Richmond River falls to 25ML/day or less, which requires Richmond Valley Council to consider appropriate mitigation measures. With 99 percent of the State in drought and no significant predicted rainfall, Council is implementing level one restrictions early in an attempt to preserve our precious water resource.
Rous County Council supplies the Mid Richmond towns of Coraki, Woodburn, Evans Head, Broadwater and Riley’s Hill, and advises via its website that level one water restrictions will be introduced when the water level in Rocky Creek Dam falls below 60 percent. It currently sits at 89 percent.
Richmond Valley Council’s Acting General Manager Angela Jones said drought conditions were affecting the area’s main source of water, the Richmond River, and with very little rain forecast for the next fortnight, Council thought it prudent to introduce level one restrictions.
Ms Jones said even with WaterNSW increasing the release from Toonumbar Dam from 18ML/day to 28ML/day, the river flow was trending downwards.
There are no water usage restrictions on local businesses NCMC, Norco, Holcim and others who require water as part of their essential business activities. Nor are there any restrictions on stock watering.
Ms Jones said all residents were encouraged to think about their water use.
‘These restrictions affect sprinklers and fixed hoses at this stage,’ she said. ‘All residents and businesses can help to reduce the strain on our water supply by using water wisely in day-to-day activities and conserving water where possible,” she said.
Ms Jones said at this stage there is no immediate threat to our water supply, but this measure is a great starting point. ‘We need to raise awareness of how we use water and this will mean our community is more prepared should we need to bring in tougher restrictions.’
‘Further information will be communicated when the situation changes but in the meantime please continue to be water wise and conserve this precious resource.’
A summary of level one water restrictions are:
· Sprinklers and fixed hoses are banned between 8am and 4pm. Exemptions for sprinkler use (up to two hours a day) allowed for essential businesses, such as nurseries, or where business hours dictate water use like schools, public gardens, sportsgrounds.