Campaspe Shire Council this week adopted a new policy to provide guidance on the allocation, use and sale of Council’s temporary raw water assets.
Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said the new policy will provide staff, recreation reserves and the community more certainty around what circumstances Council will sell its temporary raw water allocation, to who and to where.
“The detail in the new policy will increase certainty of supply for users and improve the efficiency of water use, along with the process for allocating it during drought conditions,” Cr Weston said.
Campaspe Shire owns 826 megalitres of high reliability water and 336 megalitres of low reliability water across two river systems, the Murray and Goulburn rivers. This is primarily used to keep public parks, gardens and recreation reserves green, in road making activities and a small range of council owned businesses, the Echuca & District Livestock Exchange and Echuca Holiday Park.
A number of changes have been made as to how ordering water is done across the past few years and this is now reflected in the policy.
“Goulburn Murray Water has introduced an electronic ordering and tracking system, as well as moving to ensure all water meters were accurate,” Cr Weston said.
The policy includes how recreation reserve committees can access Council’s raw water, the efficient use of the water, the process for the sale of temporary water and costs to be charged for using the water.
Council has also recognised the need to keep key community open spaces green during times of severe water restrictions. With the cooperation of the local water authority, Council may transfer raw water to the authority who in return allows nominated facilities to access this water via the town system.
“An annual allocation of water will continue to be made to recreation reserves,” Cr Weston said.
“Facilities that seek an increase in their water allocation will have their current use and current practices reviewed as part of Council’s consideration of their request. As part of the review, professional advice may be provided by Council’s turf and garden specialists in regards to soil conditioning, watering regime, or other practices that might be implemented to achieve water savings.”
The policy includes measures that ensure a minimum of two year’s supply of Council’s annual water use is held wherever possible and confirms the current position to not sell any of its permanent water assets.
The new policy entitled Management and Sale of Temporary Raw Water Assets is available on Council’s website.