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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

The town that came close to running out of water

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The newly refurbished Tyalgum weir is full after the recent rain.

The town of Tyalgym came perilously close to running out of water in recent weeks – but, the newly refurbished Tyalgum weir is full after the recent rain and though the rest of the Tweed is still on Level 2 restrictions, Tyalgum water restrictions have been lifted.

Across the rest of the Tweed, Level 2 restrictions remain in place but the move to Level 3 restrictions has been delayed by at least 10 weeks.

Council this week wrote to Tyalgum water customers thanking them for their efforts to save water when the village was on Level 4 restrictions, which limits use to 126 litres per person per day.

In that letter Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham told residents that they had achieved the target of 126 litres per person per day and allowed Council to supply the minimum amount of water to the village via tanker at the minimal cost to the ratepayer. ‘Any less effort on your part would have cost the Tweed community more.’

Tyalgum village had experienced how close they came to the reality of running out of water

Mr Burnham also said the village had experienced how close they came to the reality of running out of water. ‘We know that the drought has not broken and without further follow-up rain the river will fall again. While restrictions no longer apply, we encourage you to continue your good habits and keep taking action to make our limited water supply last as long as possible.’

Mr Burnham said Tyalgum residents were a role model for the rest of the Tweed community. ‘For Tyalgum residents the water crisis became an inescapable reality because the dry weir at the edge of the village was in clear view. The harsh reality of no water was visible.

‘We need to paint that picture for all Tweed residents – the reality is we can run out of water.’

Council has urged all Tweed residents to not water their gardens for the next two to three weeks but instead allow plants to access the available moisture in the soil from the recent rain.

The drought is not over

It also has reminded customers with tanks connected to the town supply that the drought is not over and not to use the water in those tanks unnecessarily.

‘Those tanks are connected to the town supply and in all probability have been topped up by the town supply since this drought began and, consequently, are under Level 2 restrictions and cannot be used outside permitted uses.

Mr Burnham residents should enjoy the respite the rain has provided. ‘But do not lose sight of the fact that we are still on water restrictions and your water-saving efforts will determine just how long we can stick to Level 2 and avoid the real pain of the harsher level 3 and 4 restrictions’.

For more on how to save water and water restrictions, visit www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/savewaternow.


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