Port Macquarie-Hastings Council lifts level 1 water restrictions

Cowarra Dam has a maximum storage of 10,000 megalitres.

Cowarra Dam has a maximum storage of 10,000 megalitres.

LEVEL 1 water restrictions have been lifted.

The combined capacity of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s two water supply dams is above 70 per cent, resulting in the lifting of Level 1 water restrictions.

Level 1 restrictions have been in place since January 30, 2017, and were introduced when combined storage levels of the Cowarra and Port Macquarie dams fell below the 70 per cent trigger level.

“Water to fill the dams is pumped from the Hastings River at Koree Island, five kilometres southwest of Wauchope, and prolonged low river flows between September 2016 and the end of February 2017 meant council were unable to pump to either of our dams,” council group manager Andrew Doig said.

“Recent widespread rainfall has however completely changed the outlook, and with river levels now stable, council has now been able to use our high volume pump set for the first time since 2015.

“With the resumption of pumping the dams at Cowarra and Port Macquarie are now at a combined level of more than 73 per cent.

“It will still take some time to refill the dams, however there are no current concerns with water supply given the complete turn-around in conditions,” Mr Doig said.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council adopted uniform water restrictions in July 2016, in line with other regional NSW councils.

Under this system, five categories of restrictions can be imposed by council’s general manager.

These range from Level 1 restrictions (moderate, 60-70 per cent combined storage) to emergency (25 per cent or less).

Water restriction levels are determined based on an assessment of daily customer demand and the storage volume available in our dams, with predicted weather forecasts and the flow and quality of the rivers also taken into consideration.

“Whilst we are no longer under Level 1 water restrictions, council are encouraging the community to continue to exercise common sense when using water, and would like to thank the community for their ongoing efforts in helping conserve water and adhering to the restrictions over the past few months,” Mr Doig said.

Visit www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/water for water saving hints and tips, and to find out more about water restrictions.

There is also a handy fact sheet available at the council customer service centres or by calling 6581 8111.

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