Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is advising the local community that Level 1 water restrictions will be introduced from Monday, April 15 until further notice.
Water restrictions are implemented when the volume of water in the Cowarra and Port Macquarie dams reaches pre-determined trigger levels, and is also based on the community's daily water usage.
Other considerations include predicted weather forecasts, and the flow and quality of water in the Hastings River.
The combined water storage level within the two dams has fallen below the adopted 70 per cent trigger resulting in the introduction of Level 1 'moderate' water restrictions.
"Our regions water is pumped from the Hastings River at Koree Island into either the Cowarra or Port Macquarie dam where it is stored, and the last time council was able to pump water from the river was in November last year," said acting group manager Terry Randall.
"While the recent rain has resulted in a slight increase in river flows in the Hastings River, it has not been sufficient to allow us to extract water and transfer to our dams. Our upper catchment area needs further consistent rain fall over an extended period for pumping to again occur.
"It is also important that we don't pump when river levels are low to protect the health of the river and environment."
The introduction of restrictions come off the back of one of our driest summers on record, and the last time Level 1 water restrictions were in place was between January and April 2017.
Restrictions for residential outdoors include:
- Hand held hoses can be used for 1 hour every second day, before 9am or after 4pm on odd or even days matching house numbers.
- Sprinklers and unattended hoses are banned.
- Cars and boats are to be washed on the lawn only, before 9am or after 4pm with a bucket and hand-held hose for rinsing on the house' allocated day
- Watering cans and buckets can be used at any time
- Reclaimed water can continue to be used at any time
"Our community has been doing a good job in how they are using and conversing water, and we appreciate the ongoing effort," added Mr Randall.
"Level 1 restrictions mean only a small change in our behaviour, and will go a long way in ensuring we continue to protect our precious water supply."