Dear MidCoast community member,
We are contacting you today because we are facing an extremely severe drought for our region, in fact the worst in 75 years of river flow records. Our rainfall has been the lowest in 130 years of data collection.
We will require everyone to assist in conserving water, so together we can get through this drought.
What are the current water restrictions?
From Monday 25 November, Severe – Level 4 water restrictions will come into force across the entire MidCoast region. The attached Fact Sheet outlines what to do during water restrictions, and our information page has very comprehensive information about water restrictions, including a Q and A section: www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/waterrestrictions
What will happen next?
Weather is unpredictable, but using weather forecasts and our water usage modelling, we anticipate that conditions may get worse before they get better. We will be expanding the Nabiac borefield, so that we can increase the amount of water from that source.
We have to face the possibility that some of our smaller water supplies, especially Gloucester, may enter emergency restrictions. This has never occurred before in our region.
We are making plans just in case emergency supplies need to be accessed. These could involve:
- transporting water by road and rail to supply emergency provisions to reservoirs and storages
- installing a temporary desalination plant to treat brackish water so it can be used to supplement our existing supply.
Why change levels now?
Moderate water restrictions started on 2 September. River flows have now declined to the point where we have not been able to refill storages for some time now. As a result our supply of available water is dropping, triggering the need for Level 4 Severe restrictions.
In the case of Tea Gardens, the aquifer levels have dropped over recent weeks. This combined with forecasts for dry conditions to continue through December has prompted us to continue the Level 3 Very High restriction.
How can I help?
We need everyone to comply with water restrictions.
- Spread the word – apart from following restrictions yourself, you can help by making sure your neighbours are aware too.
- You can explore more ways to save water at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/watersaving
- Check if your workplace, school and the businesses you shop at, are following restrictions – there is information on our website to help everyone save water.
- If you are using rain water or bore water outdoors, put a good sign out for everyone to see and tell your neighbours.
How can I keep up to date?
- You can nominate here to receive our weekly news wrap email, which will provide water restrictions updates, along with all Council’s weekly news: midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Part-of-your-everyday/Stay-updated
- Each Friday at 7.30am, tune into 2RE radio, where we will provide updates on water restrictions.
- The most current information will be available on our website on the water restrictions page above. We will also keep you informed via our Facebook page. You can also check local newspapers, radio and TV and look out for roadside electronic message boards.
Thank you – we greatly appreciate your efforts to pull together as one community and get through this drought.