Water in the MidCoast Council region

The Barrington River is one of the feeder water sources for the MidCoast region's water supply.
The Barrington River is one of the feeder water sources for the MidCoast region's water supply.

Dry July around the State

In the wake of the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate summary indicating NSW saw the driest July since 2002, MidCoast residents may be wondering what this means for the region’s water supply.

It’s been about a month since the region recorded a decent rainfall, with Elders weather showing 14.8 millimetres in Taree on July 3; however, it wasn’t as dry as the area recorded in July 2015.

Overall, the rainfall since the beginning of the year to August 1, recorded at 672.9mm over 103 days of rain, is lower than the same period last year recorded at 798.0mm over 106 days of rain.

The prediction is that the region will see a ‘near normal’ rainfall, of four to six millimetres, over the months of August and September.

But is it enough?

It was only in February of this year MidCoast Council introduced a moderate - level one water restriction for the region, remaining in force for about a month until the region received a decent amount of rain in the catchment areas.

Council's director water services, Brendan Guiney said the region hasn’t seen a decent rainfall since March, the month in which the restrictions were lifted.

Brendan explained how council’s water services are constantly monitoring the water levels around the region to keep on top of the storage and usage.

In regard to farmers with irrigation licences on the rivers, Brendan said this is monitored and regulated by the State Government.

That being said, Brendan explained how council and farmers have a good relationship and keep in regular contact to ensure there’s enough water to everyone. “I don’t think we’ll need to consider water restrictions for about eight weeks if there isn’t any significant rain.”

As the water catchment basically affects the majority of people living in the region, if Gloucester’s rivers become dry, the Manning Valley and Great Lakes will also be dry. 

What’s to come?

The Gloucester region saw a little bit of rain on Monday August 8, however the forecast over the coming days is dry and warm. Temperatures may reach 23 to 25 degrees by the weekend.