Moderate water restrictions enforced in MidCoast Council area from September 2

Drought effect: MidCoast Council said water levels in the Barrington River will be lower for the Mountain Man Tri Challenge this year. Photo: Scott Calvin.
Drought effect: MidCoast Council said water levels in the Barrington River will be lower for the Mountain Man Tri Challenge this year. Photo: Scott Calvin.

The drought continues to have an adverse effect on water supplies in the Mid Coast.

With little to no rain in sight to help the dire situation, water restrictions was enforced across the MidCoast Council local government area on Monday, September 2.

Council's Rob Scott warned tighter restrictions could follow in the coming weeks.

"We're asking everyone across the MidCoast to ensure they are complying with these restrictions, which are mandatory," Mr Scott said.

"The weather forecasts and our predictions of water usage indicate that we may need to increase restrictions, possibly as early as October."

River flows, long term forecasts and water use left council with no choice but to enforce restrictions.

Residents can water outside using hand-held hoses for one hour every second day before 9am or after 4pm during the restrictions.

Garden irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes as part of the one hour allocation.

If your house number is even, water on the even days of the month. The same applies for houses with odd numbers, where residents can water on odd days of the month.

There is no watering on the 31st day of the month.

Outdoor cleaning of driveways, paved areas, windows, walls and roofs should be done with a bucket only.

Council originally contemplated the introduction of restrictions during winter. However, light rain and lowered water use from the community kept business as usual.

Snowfall at Barrington Tops in August had little to no impact on the Gloucester scheme.

"While the snow has been lovely for visitors to the region, it doesn't have a large impact on our water supplies," a spokesperson for MidCoast Council said.

"Given the ground has been extremely dry, much of the melting snow will have been absorbed and not a great deal of run off has been created.

"However any rainfall or run of from melting snow is better than no rainfall at all."

With the annual Mountain Man Tri Challenge in Gloucester just days away, the Barrington River will be lower than usual.

"This should be considered by the organisers prior to the event," the spokesperson said.

The river had a flow of 91.7 megalitres per day at the end of July.

MidCoast Council mayor David West will soon meet with NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey to discuss issues surrounding water resources in the area.

According to council's Water Usage and Water Resources And The Outlook for 2019 report, water usage for the Manning scheme in 2019 was 3.5 per cent above usage in 2018 and 6.6 per cent higher than the median usage in the last seven years.

The Manning River remains low at Killawarra. River flows are very low and if no more rainfall occurs in the next week, low flows will continue into spring. Reserve stocks at Bootawa Dam are at capacity.

Cease to pump has been triggered for the Karuah River, affecting Stroud residents. The off river storage was at 97 per cent on July 30.

No water security means there is no storage provided. Once the river stops flowing there is no water available.

However, more than 70 years of river flow data shows the river has never stopped flowing.

The Bureau of Meteorology expects the next few months to be drier than average. The MidCoast area only has a 30 to 40 per cent chance to receive above average rainfall.