Despite recent heavy rainfall elsewhere in the state, drier than usual conditions are forecast for the Moree Plains for November 2019. This has forced Moree Plains Shire Council to increase the water restrictions applying to Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah to level four restrictions, effective from Monday 11 November 2019.

Water levels and consumption have been closely monitored across all towns within the Moree Plains Shire. The results of this monitoring, together with the likelihood of limited rainfall for the remainder of this calendar year, led to the implementation of level four water restrictions in Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah.

“Council have been monitoring water consumption for some time. Residents across the shire and in particular, the communities of Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah, have noticeably acted with diligence when it comes to water usage and these efforts are to be commended,” Moree Plains Shire Council’s Acting General Manager, Mitchell Johnson, said.

“An update from the NSW Drought Task Group has informed council that November is showing strong chances of being much drier than usual and that rainfall is likely to be below average for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020.

“This has necessitated the introduction of increased water restrictions for these communities. Council is currently exploring options to secure additional water sources for these communities and we hope to provide an update on this front shortly.”

The Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan adopted by council outlines the process involved when advancing water restrictions and the applicable restrictions. For household water users, the following restrictions apply as of Monday 11 November 2019:

  • Hand held hoses only to be used when watering lawns and gardens
  • Watering may only take place between 6:00am – 8:00am and 6:00pm – 8:00pm during summer
  • Buckets and recycled water may be used at any time
  • Paved and concrete surfaces are not to be washed down
  • Covered pools may only be topped up using hand held hoses during the hours allowed for general watering noted above
  • Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water
  • Only water from a bucket can be used while undertaking home extensions or landscaping
  • Water can only be carted for domestic purposes
  • Washing of clothes is only permitted with full loads, adhering to the odds and even system – households with odd street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on odd dates; households with even street numbers are permitted to use their washing machine on even dates
  • Residents are encouraged to have short showers (between 3-5 minutes)
  • Pets are only to be washed using water from a bucket
  • Residents are encouraged to reduce usage of evaporative air coolers
  • All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons

For commercial and industrial water users in Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah, the following restrictions will apply:

  • Irrigation (efficient user) consumption should be reduced by 50 per cent
  • Irrigation (non-efficient user) consumption should be reduced by 50 per cent
  • All fountains are to be turned off and not to be topped up except for safety reasons
  • Public swimming pools are to be operated with maximum efficiency
  • Water can only be carted for domestic purposes
  • Businesses must make greater endeavours to minimise water usage
  • Car washing can only occur at commercial car washes that recycle water
  • Only commercial car washes that recycle water will be allowed to operate
  • Washing of commercial buildings and windows is banned

Residents and local businesses are required to follow all additional water restrictions.

Further details of these water restrictions can be found on the council website www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au within its Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan.

Mr Johnson emphasised that being water wise is something that all residents should be mindful of.

“We have experienced the driest 33 months on record and with no heavy rainfall predicted in the near future, we are relying on all residents to be vigilant in respect of their water consumption.

“At this point, every effort to conserve water across the shire counts; the simple stuff really matters. Do not leave taps running while you brush your teeth or wash the dishes and ensure you are encouraging your children to be water wise.”

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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