Water restrictions are gradually happening on the Northern Rivers, with water carters on the Tweed no longer allowed to take water from supplies in Tyalgum or Uki.
The Tweed Shire Council says without significant rain, anyone relying on town water from the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant will face water restrictions by Christmas.
Clarrie Hall Dam is reportedly sitting at 96 percent but dropping about one per cent a week.
Tweed Shire Council Manager Water and Waste water Anthony Burnham said in a press release level1 water restrictions would be imposed when the dam reached 75 per cent full.
Council investigating water options
Dam operators were releasing 40 megalitres a day to boost river flows and guarantee supply at Bray Park Weir and the council was investigating the option of raising the dam wall.
The council said it also planned to upgrade an existing small pipe link between the Tweed and the Gold Coast in case the Tweed runs out of water.
Other plans included working out how to protect the raw water supply at Bray Park Weir from increasingly frequent threats of tidal inundation.
Time to save water
In the meantime, the council issued another public request to residents to save water now.
Tweed residents were using 191 litres per person per day compared to 169 litres per person a day in 2013.
The council’s target, shared by most councils on the Northern Rivers, is for residents to use 160 litres per person per day.
Tank water restrictions
Meanwhile, residents on the Northern Rives relying on tank water are reportedly already waiting up to ten days for water carters to replenish tanks.
Last week the council banned water carting from the Tyalgum supply, adding to a ban already in place on the Uki supply.
The council said further water restrictions on the Tyalgum supply were likely to be imposed as soon as flows in Tyalgum Creek all but stopped.
Drought could catch people out
Authorities say 98% of New South Wales is suffering drought and the Bureau of Meteorology’s spring forecast features a distinct lack of rain.
‘Elsewhere in the country we are seeing the impact of the ongoing drought- and now fires- and we urge Tweed residents not to be complacent about water security here because we, too, can be caught short,’ said Mr Burnham.
The council has published water-saving tips online.