Low river levels cause MidCoast Council to declare water restrictions across the region

Gloucester's water storage units are in dire need of replacement.
Gloucester's water storage units are in dire need of replacement.

As MidCoast Council declares water restrictions across the region, it raises questions about Gloucester’s water security.

The state of Gloucester’s water infrastructure has been in the council agenda for quite some time, with concepts on how to solve the issue continually being reviewed.

Off the back of council’s implementation of water restrictions on Monday (February 11), due to reduced river flows and continuing dry weather, questions have been raised about Gloucester’s supply.

MidCoast Council’s director of water services, Brendan Guiney said there are a number of issues currently being addressed in regard to Gloucester’s water infrastructure, including current work on the pipelines. 

“We need to address the state of the water resources in town,” Brendan said. “With two out of the three water towers requiring replacement.”

A project, he said is in the development stage, along with how to address the overall water storage issue. 

One of the options being considered by council was the construction of a pipeline from Gloucester to Krambach, however, Brendan said the costing came back around $40 million; much higher than the $12 to $19 million council was estimating, and therefore, the idea has been dropped.

The other plan, for off-stream storage, is now the option being put through its paces.

Brendan said council is working on a concept plan for the entire Gloucester water network, which will be brought to the community for consultant once ready. 

In the meantime, the rivers providing water to the supplies in Gloucester, Stroud and Bulahdelah are at low levels and therefore, water restrictions are in play.

From Monday, February 11, residents can water outside using hand-held hoses, for one hour every second day, before 9am or after 4pm. Garden irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes as part of the one hour allocation.

If your house number is an even number, water on the even days of the month; for houses with odd numbers, water on the odd days of the month, and there's no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. This includes topping up home pools.