Changes to help manage water through droughts and flooding rains

Gunnedah Shire Council

Following consultation with the community, Gunnedah Shire’s Water policy has been changed to include new watering times during times of restrictions.

Gunnedah Shire Council yesterday adopted revised Gunnedah Water Supply Drought and Demand Management Plans and updated the Water Restriction Policy to adjust watering times.

Now, when water restrictions are put in place, the new permitted times for use of fixed hoses and sprinklers will be between 6pm and 8pm during daylight saving time, and 5pm and 7pm at other times.

Gunnedah Shire Council Director Infrastructure Services Jeremy Bartlett said the changes directly reflected the results of community consultation which showed people wanted the hours changed after restrictions were implemented during the drought.

“A survey about water conservation showed people preferred a two-hour block of watering time rather than an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening,” Mr Bartlett said.

“And the clear preference was for between 6pm and 8pm during daylight saving time, and between 5pm and 7pm for the rest of the year. People wanted the hours to be altered during daylight saving time, and that’s what we have done.

“These restrictions are only implemented when demand reaches 85% of our water production capacity, or in extreme conditions such as the recent drought, when our groundwater system is under strain.

“Our Drought and Demand Management Plans have also been revised to include changes such as the new Curlewis to Gunnedah pipeline, extra storage capacity with the new Apex reservoir, and the decommissioning of three bores on Old Tamworth Road due to poor water quality.

“When our new water treatment plant is operational later this year, our water situation will be even more secure. A central collection point for water will mean all bores can operate together, boosting Gunnedah’s capacity and allowing more options during maintenance and breakdowns.

“Gunnedah remains in a fortunate position with our water supply. We have a strong groundwater system with eight bores providing excellent quality water. We do, however, always need to remember water is a precious and finite resource and we need to plan ahead to ensure we can meet the demand in the future.

“The recent drought was a reminder that we can’t do without water.”

Gunnedah Shire is currently on Level P (permanent) water restrictions, where fixed hoses and sprinklers are restricted except between 6am and 8am, and 6pm and 10pm during daylight saving time, and 6am-8am and 5pm-9pm at other times.

For the full list of water restrictions at each level, visit and you will find Water Information & Restrictions under Everyday Living in Gunnedah.

Caption: Photo of Gunnedah Shire farm in 2019 during the drought

/Public Release. View in full here.