The ACT Government and Icon Water will provide temporary water relief to Braidwood, NSW, after its water supply dried-up due to low inflows and bushfires in the region, following a request from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC).

The temporary arrangements for an amount of between 250 and 300kL per day will be in place for up to six months as QPRC and the NSW Government develop longer-term solutions to the shortage.

Braidwood moved into Stage 4 water restrictions on Friday 10 January 2020.

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said the move showed Canberrans were willing to stand with the Canberra region during this difficult time.

“Canberra is a generous community and I think it is a good thing we are able to provide short-term water relief to Braidwood to assist them through this difficult period,” Mr Barr said.

“It is important that a long-term solution to this issue is identified.”

Braidwood’s population is less than 2,000 people and this is not expected to have a significant impact on the ACT’s long-term water security. 

The amount that would be provided to Braidwood over a six-month period is less than one day of supply for residents of Canberra and Queanbeyan. Water will be sourced on a commercial basis from Queanbeyan’s reticulation network and managed under the existing water supply arrangements between Icon Water and QPRC.

“Of course everyone using water during this difficult drought and emergency conditions should be conscious of their water consumption and look to make savings,” Mr Barr said.

Icon Water Managing Director, Ray Hezkial, said both the government and Icon Water were keeping a close watch on the ACT’s water security, but there had been higher than average consumption over the summer months.

“Major investments in our water storage capacity mean we do not require water restrictions yet,” Mr Hezkial said. 

“However, we are seeing increased consumption patterns, particularly on days of record temperatures, and we are closely monitoring this along with our dam levels and predicted weather patterns.

“Should this continue, we will not hesitate to implement water restrictions if and when they are needed.”

The ACT’s Permanent Water Conservation Measures have been in place since 2010 and are similar to Level 1 water restrictions in other jurisdictions. 

“There’s a lot we can all do as a community to care for water. It’s up to each individual and their families to choose what works for them,” Mr Hezkial said.

“There’s lots of great tips on the Icon Water website, as well as QPRC and ACTSmart. We’re really encouraging families to sit down and talk through ways they can save water, even changing little habits can make a big difference.”

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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