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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Water restrictions to be triggered sooner on North Coast

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With fires, heatwaves and increased water consumption across the north coast up from last year, water utility Rous County Council are close to introducing Level 1 water restrictions across four local Shires, including Byron.

Rocky Creek Dam, which supplies Lismore, Ballina, Byron and Richmond Valley councils, is currently at 74 per cent capacity and dropping, say Rous County Council. Mullumbimby is supplied by Wilsons Creek, and is already on level three restrictions.

According to Rous County Council’s Regional Water Supply Drought Management Plan, restrictions are triggered when the dam reaches 60 per cent capacity. Yet at an extraordinary meeting last week, impacted Councils and Rous County Council voted to change the trigger to 70 per cent.

Rous County Council chairperson Cr Keith Williams said, ‘Applying Level 1 water restrictions before Rocky Creek Dam reaches 60 per cent is a signal to the community that we need to make water conservation an everyday part of our lives.

‘It’s essential we reduce demand now to prolong our water supply. If dam levels drop further or reductions in consumption are not met, we could be looking at higher level restrictions. We urge people to reduce their water usage now to delay the introduction of tougher water restrictions’. Cr Williams added that water carters will be unaffected by the restrictions.

What are level 1 restrictions?

While different restrictions apply to residential, rural, private and commercial activities, all users are requested to conserve water wherever possible.

Level 1 residential water saving measures include:

  • Watering established gardens with hand-held hoses fitted with an on/off nozzle for one hour every second day, between 4pm and 9am on odd or even days matching house numbers.
  • Topping up swimming pools permitted between 4pm and 9am using handheld hose fitted with an on/off nozzle
  • Washing cars with hand-held hoses permitted between 4pm and 9am on odd or even days matching house numbers.

For more information visit Rous County Council.

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