MidCoast Council has responded to reports by the ABC that Gloucester will need water brought in over the Christmas period, stating there is an emergency plan in place.
On Friday, December 20, the ABC reported that "without rain, Gloucester is expected to run out of water over the Christmas period," a sentiment that is not completely shared by council with general manager Adrian Panuccio stating that plans have been put in place if the need arises.
"The Barrington River has never ceased flowing in recorded history," Mr Panuccio said.
"We've put arrangements in place, just in case this occurs, and there is a possibility that this summer we may need to supply Gloucester from an alternate water source."
Council went on to dispute the cost of carting water quoted by the ABC, stating that "the cost of trucking water to Gloucester, if the town does require emergency water over the Christmas holidays, is inaccurate."
"Figures quoted on the cost per day to truck water to Gloucester have been greatly exaggerated," Mr Panuccio said.
Council has indicated it has plans in place to bring water to Gloucester by road from the Tea Gardens / Hawks Nest aquifer and that the NSW Government will subsidise the cost of transporting the water by more than 90 per cent.
Council reiterated the need for the community to observe the level four water restrictions.
In late November, council's director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott said that Gloucester would only need water carted if the Barrington River flow drops below three megalitres per day.
"We have still got a while to go before we reach this level, the river flows are low but they are holding up around 10 megalitres per day," he said.
On December 17, council posted a message on Facebook advising residents of a hoax text message about water usage.
"We've been made aware of false text messages circulating in our community which claim to be from council, warning about excessive water usage and making threats. We don't send any text messages to residents about water usage - so please ignore these fake messages. If you can, please share this post so everyone is aware. And if you need clarification on anything to do with water restrictions, head to our website for all the facts or to ask a question," the post stated.
More details on water restrictions and how the Mid Coast's water supply is being managed during the drought is available at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/waterrestrictions