Eurobodalla Council confirmed Level 1 water restrictions came into effect on Saturday (December 2), despite heavy rain in recent days.
Council’s director of infrastructure services Graham Attenborough said while we’ve received plenty of water across the shire over the last week and might get more this week, flows in the Tuross River could still drop to the point that sufficient water cannot be pumped to respond to extra demand over summer.
“We’ll review our position in the coming weeks,” he said. “Whether we lift restrictions, remain at Level 1 or even move to Level 2, in the next fortnight we’ll have a better idea if the river will have enough water over the high demand period to pump and supply in the south.”
Mr Attenborough explained that although the water storage at Deep Creek Dam remains full, water in the Deua and Tuross Rivers is falling.
“Water restrictions help ensure supply over our busy Christmas period,” he said.
Eurobodalla’s water supply is in two parts. Between February and November, the whole shire is supplied by the northern system, drawing water from the Deua River to store at Deep Creek Dam and feed the northern water treatment plant.
However, during the Christmas holiday period demand for water can exceed the 20 megalitres/day capacity the northern plant can supply; an extra 4 megalitres/day is added from the southern system by drawing water from the Tuross River to feed the southern water treatment plant.
Mr Attenborough said Council encouraged residents and visitors to conserve water at all times. “Level 1 water restrictions simply formalise the basic water-saving measures we should all be practicing,” he said.
Under Level 1 water restrictions, washing down hard surfaces like paths and driveways, and the use of sprinklers, micro-spray systems and unattended hoses is banned. Instead, gardens can be watered between 5pm and 10am using a hand-held hose or drip-irrigations system. Private vehicles can be washed using buckets, with a final rinse by trigger-nozzle hose, between 5pm and 10am. Washing watercraft, trailers and vehicles at boat ramps is banned and boat motors must be flushed on grass.
Mr Attenborough said constructing the $130 million Southern Water Supply Storage – with its 3,000 megalitre dam in the shire’s south – was a priority for Council.
“The southern dam will go a long way to securing Eurobodalla’s water supply into the future. We’re on track for a late 2024 completion but significant rain to fill it will be required before it becomes fully operational and integrated,” Mr Attenborough said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to use water restrictions as needed to maintain supply capacity and ensure adequate storage. I encourage the community to stay up-to-date on current water restrictions by visiting Council’s website or calling the water hotline on 1800 441 070.”
Images: Eurobodalla Shire Council