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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Mullum: get ready for water restrictions

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Council have this afternoon announced that if there is no rain in the Wilsons Creek catchment in the next week, Level 1 water restrictions will be implemented in Mullumbimby.

This follows a dramatic decrease last week in the water feeding the Laverty’s Gap Weir on Wilsons Creek which supplies Mullumbimby’s water.

Cameron Clark, Acting Director Infrastructure Services, said the stream flow has dropped by two megalitres in one week.  ‘Two weeks ago just under four megalitres a day was being fed into the weir and this week it is hovering above one megalitre a day which is a sudden and substantial drop,’ he said. 

Water restrictions are implemented when the flow drops to one megalitre so people need be prepared.’

Council say that with little to no rain forecast for the coming week, Mullumbimby residents should prepare for Level 1 restrictions which include: no watering of established lawns using sprinklers and fixed hoses; watering of gardens only permitted between 6am – 10am and 3pm – 7pm; all hoses must be fitted with on/off nozzles; and, topping up of swimming pools from hand-held hoses between 6am – 10am and 3pm – 7pm.

Weir extremely responsive to rainfall

‘The Laverty’s Gap Weir is extremely responsive to rainfall events so a heavy storm could see the restrictions eased quickly’, said Mr Clark.

While water restrictions have not been implemented elsewhere in the Byron Shire, residents are being asked to be careful with water use, keeping in mind that every drop counts and that if no good rain comes in the next several months restrictions may be necessary.

With the exception of Mullumbimby, Byron Shire’s water supply is provided by Rous County Council (RCC) which manages the Rocky Creek and Emigrant Creek dams.  RCC is the principal water supply authority for the Lismore, Ballina and Richmond Valley Shires as well.

Rocky Creek dam is currently 83% full and RCC will bring in restrictions when that level decreases to below 60%.

‘Making some small changes to our daily water habits now can make a massive difference to how our water resources fare in the future. We know from a recent campaign run by Rous County Council that Byron Shire residents currently use an average of 160 litres a day.

‘Why wait to reach the trigger when we can take some positive and simple steps now to save thousands of litres of water in the process,’ he said.

Use water wisely

Council is urging residents to get on board with as many of the following actions as possible:

·         Water the garden before 10am or after 3pm to avoid evaporation and maximise plant absorption.

·         Wash cars, boats and bikes on the lawn, and use a bucket.

·         Put a trigger on hand-held hoses

·         Fix dripping taps – one dripping tap can waste around 20 litres a day.

·         Install a rainwater tank (rebates may be available from Rous County Council)

·         Shorter showers.  Challenge yourself to 2-minute showers and put in a water-saving shower head.

·         Don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.

·         Put a plug in the sink if rinsing dishes.

·         Choose water-efficient appliances. 

Water levels at Rocky Creek Dam are updated regularly by Rous County Council.  Go to www.rous.nsw.gov.au.

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  1. Council missed one of the biggest problems: animal agriculture. Between irrigating the crops that farmed animals eat, providing millions of animals with drinking water each year, and washing away the filth of factory farms, transport trucks and slaughterhouses, animal agriculture places a tremendous strain on our precious water supply.

    • True Desmond but not true in regard to Mullumbimby or local council.

      No crops are farmed here locally to feed animals.
      There are no factory farms in our local area
      There are no slaughter-houses in our local area
      Neary every farm is using their own water they harvest from rainfall and store in dams and tanks for animals to drink so they have no effect on local community water pressures

      Im not denying the impacts of broader animal agriculture – but lets not pretend the issues you raise are relevant to Mullumbimby or Byron Shire – which is what this article was about.

    • You sound like a mad Vegan. Blaming animals for water use. I suppose you eat drought production vegatables.
      Murray, Darling water sold to Almond farm on South Australia border. What a waste of water. Stuff Australian farmers as long as almond eating vegans are happy.

  2. So small minded to think the lack of rain in Byron Shire is just caused by local farming activities.. The ENTIRE BIG SCRUB was destroyed by the DAIRY INDUSTRY and timber Getters.. That’s BILLIONS OF TREES destroyed in Byron Shire and NSW… Obviously this is a major contributor to low rainfall since trees form clouds which cause rainfall and also stop flooding when rain occasionally falls on hard impacted soil…. Only someone seriously in DENIAL would call Vegans mad.
    Change to a meat and dairy free diet now before the sand starts blowing through your own front door.

  3. Community members are told to curb their water use, while water miners for the plastic water bottle industry continue to extract masses of water to be trucked away for private profit. How is this fair? How is this allowed to happen? This environmentally decimating industry should be shut down immediately!


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