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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Start saving water now say Tweed Council – water restrictions may be weeks away

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This is a river, not a creek – the flow of Oxley River at Tyalgum has reduced to a trickle. Photo supplied

Following the devastating floods of 2022 we are back to dry weather. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has declared an El Nino weather pattern and it has predicted that there will be less-than-average rainfall in the Northern Rivers this year. Tweed Council is reminding residents and visitors that it is important to save water as we head into dry weather. 

‘Without significant rain, the Tweed will head into water restrictions, with restrictions for Tyalgum looking likely in the next few weeks,’ said Tweed Shire Council’s (TSC) water and wastewater business and assets manager Michael Wraight.

‘We source our water from the Tweed River at Bray Park and Uki, plus the Oxley River at Tyalgum. The river flows are down and the weir pools at Bray Park and Tyalgum are drying up.

‘While Clarrie Hall Dam is currently sitting at 98 per cent capacity, it will now drop about 1 to 1.5  per cent, per week, as we start releasing water to supply the Bray Park Weir – the source of water for most of the Shire.

‘We will trigger level 1 water restrictions when the Clarrie Hall Dam level drops to 85 per cent.

‘Restrictions at Tyalgum will be introduced sooner. The flow of the Oxley River at Tyalgum is down to a trickle and the weir pool there is dropping fast.’

While Clarrie Hall Dam is currently sitting at 98% capacity, it will drop about 1 to 1.5% per week as Council starts releasing water to supply the Bray Park Weir. Photo supplied

Target 160

Everyone is encouraged to meet the target of using less than 160 litres of water per day even when there are no water restrictions.

‘If each of us can meet this target and continue to do so, we can delay the need to impose water restrictions,’ said Mr Wraight.

‘The Tweed community has been doing a good job in recent weeks by almost meeting Target 160. Last week we used 170 litres per person per day, so we still have a way to go.

‘There are actions we can all take to reduce our daily water use. From today, please clean hard outdoor surfaces with a broom rather than a hose, mulch your garden, keep your showers to four minutes, do full loads of washing and fix your water leaks.

‘We all have the power to ensure our limited water supply lasts as long as possible.’

Go to tweed.nsw.gov.au/water-savings-restrictions for more tips on saving water indoors and outdoors.

In 2020, Council permanently banned water carting from the Tyalgum and Uki water supply systems.

Whenever water restrictions are triggered, Council bans water carting from elsewhere in the Tweed to other local government areas.

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  1. I was on the water demand and supply independent review group. We recommended to raise this dam wall ten years ago + we did a review three years ago, same recommendation. Still not done. Don’t expect more housing when we don’t have the water to sustain them.

    • What about water efficiency &/or using less water? Rooftop rainwater tanks?

      A few problems never solved or addressed by the dam wall raisers are the drowning of the dozens of protected Aboriginal heritage sites still above the current water levels, & the Lowland Rainforest Endangered Ecological Community that will be lost. Both rightly have high levels of protection under planning legislation.

      • Everywhere is Aboriginal/Ecological, but the government keeps importing people, so tough cheddar, build that wall.


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