Water restrictions are on the way, MidCoast Council has warned.
With a large chunk of the Mid Coast LGA severely drought affected, and no substantial rain predicted in the immediate future, MidCoast Council is introducing its summer water savers program two months early.
Traditionally initiated in early October the continuing dry spell has forced MidCoast Council to take action, urging both residents and visitors to be water wise and at the same time warning water restrictions could be introduced in the near future.
"For now, we're urging everyone to be water-wise, conserve water wherever you can and follow our summer water savers tips," MidCoast Council infrastructure and engineering services director, Rob Scott said.
"Our Water Services team initially thought restrictions would be necessary during this winter, but through good management, a great response from the community in conserving water use, and some very fortunate light rainfall, we were able to avoid restrictions during the winter months.
"However, our environmental and engineering experts are closely monitoring river flows, long term forecasts for rainfall and water use figures, and it's very apparent that Level 1 - Moderate water restrictions will be needed very soon, perhaps as early as the beginning of September.
"If the weather that is forecasted eventuates, we're modelling for the possibility of Level 4 - severe restrictions by October - right across the Mid Coast region," Mr Scott said.
An average year would have seen 802mm of rainfall on the Mid Coast for the year up to August 1. This year we've received 308mm.
"People ask lots of questions about how and when water restrictions are introduced, and the system is complex," Mr Scott said.
"We have an established system and trigger levels for introducing water restrictions, which are part of a larger NSW standardised system. If you have questions, please visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/waterrestrictions. There's a chance to ask any questions you have, if they're not answered there."
The Summer Water Savers message is 'don't spray in the middle of the day' and in addition to sensible outdoor water use, encourages everyone to try to save water inside and out at home.
"We've produced a handy summer water savers fact sheet to guide residents on the program," Mr Scott said. In addition, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/savewater for online tips and help to conserve water.
Mr Scott said council will issue regular updates to the community in the coming weeks regarding water restrictions.