River flows in The Barrington River, the water source for the township of Gloucester, have dropped below critical levels.
“The river has practically ceased flowing at the point where we extract water for the town supply, ” MidCoast Council’s Director Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Robert Scott said.
“This is the lowest level we have water supplies in this area.”
As a result MidCoast Council is now carting water into the town by road to keep the town’s water system operating.
The water is being trucked from MidCoast Council’s groundwater source at Tea Gardens.
“We will continue to access any water that is available from the river but until we get some rain the Gloucester water system will become more reliant on water carting each day. We really need to reduce water usage in Gloucester to the minimum so that we can keep up with carting,” Mr Scott said.
All water carters in the Gloucester and Barrington area have also been advised they can no longer draw on water from the Gloucester water system. They have been asked to source their water from nearby Krambach, which is on the Manning water supply scheme, until further notice.
The cost of carting the water for rural towns is subsidised by the State Government, however it is important that we eliminate and non-essential use to keep the use to an absolute minimum, Mr Scott said.
“We are asking businesses in Gloucester to reduce their use by at least 50 per cent of their normal amount, even if this means reducing their hours of operation or closing early. It costs nearly ten times more to cart water to the town than using the regular supply.
“Residents in Gloucester have been good at achieving their usage targets under level 4 ‘severe’ restrictions. With the prospect of some rainfall later next week we are hoping to avoid the need to implement level 5 emergency restrictions that have been previously flagged for Gloucester if things got to this point,” Mr Scott said.