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Goondiwindi region will move to high-level water restrictions in February

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Goondiwindi Regional Council moved to adopt high-level water restrictions in Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Bungunya starting 1 February 2020.

For those towns, the move to high-level water restrictions means a drastic cut to allowed watering practices. The high-level water restrictions only allow residents to water their gardens and outside areas by bucket for two hours per week on allocated days. The use of sprinklers and hoses, along with any other outside watering (including washing vehicles), will not be permitted.

The targets for water consumption will also be stricter under high-level restrictions. Residential users will need to aim for a total of 150 litres per person per day (or less). Commercial users should try to aim for a 15% reduction of their normal usage.

In the meeting this morning, Mayor of the Goondiwindi region Graeme Scheu said the decision was necessary for the current situation.

“Council has been working with SunWater, WaterNSW, and the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME), and has been guided by their advice about our available capacity,” Cr Scheu said.

“From their advice about the current levels in those towns, and by following the Drought Management Plan, it is clear that we need to move to high-level restrictions to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

“Council is absolutely certain that no town will be left to go dry and we are working hard on seeking alternative medium- to long-term solutions. But right now, high-level restrictions are essential in the short-term to ensure our supply lasts as long as possible.

Council adopted its new Drought Management Plan in October. Under this plan, different trigger points are defined for the introduction of each level of water restriction. These trigger points are based on actual water levels and predicted supply.

The high-level restrictions will remain in effect in the selected towns until the region receives enough rainfall in its catchment areas to drop back, Cr Scheu confirmed.

Council considered each town in the region on a case-by-case basis during its decision-making. Cr Scheu confirmed that Council will continue to work with SunWater, WaterNSW and the DNRME to monitor the capacities of the other towns in the region that are still on medium-level restrictions. Any decision to introduce high-level restrictions into those towns will be informed by those industry bodies’ advice and Council’s Drought Management Plan.

“We’re at the point where we really need significant rainfall, ideally we need a series of significant rainfall events,” the Mayor said. “It’s not the case that a couple of inches here or there and we’re in the clear.” 

“We’ve been saying it for a while but now we really need everyone to get on board - every drop counts. There’s no magic fix and we won’t have more water until we get rain. It’s just so important that everyone does their bit so we can make our supply last.”

Published: 18th December 2019