Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd has praised the attitude of Orange residents to embrace sensible levels of water use.
The latest figures show Orange residents are using at average of 130 litres per person per day.
“It’s brilliant to see that the people of Orange are making a genuine and concerted effort to reduce the amount of water they are using,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “One hundred and thirty litres per person per day is a fantastic result. That level of water use makes our supplies last even longer. With our total storage down to 27.77% we all need to continue to do all we can to be responsible in our water use.”
The City Council’s water use predictions indicate Orange will reach the trigger-point for Level 5A restrictions of 25% at the end of this year, and Orange’s mayor believes those restrictions will deliver an appropriate level of water use for summer , while Orange City Council continues to work hard on a number of fronts to bring about a better water outcome.
“One of those initiatives is working with the NSW Government to deliver a change in the trigger point when we can start to pump from the Macquarie River. Operating the pipeline with a trigger point of 119 megalitres a day before we can pump has been a real obstacle.
“We’re asking the government to let us work with the originally-modelled trigger-point of 38 megalitres a day as an ’emergency’ measure while the dam is below 50%. We’re keen to get a decision from the government in the coming weeks.”
“Our very conservative modelling suggests even if this drought continues, there will be enough water in the river to maintain the ecological health of the river and let us get enough water to prevent us going into Level 6 water restrictions.
“We’ve never gone into Level 6 restrictions before, and we’re working on solutions aimed at preventing us from reaching that milestone, but for residents having an awareness of Level 6 is important.”
The key difference in Level 6 is for gardens.
Under the current Level 5 gardens can be watered for an hour a week. That changes to half an hour a week under Level 5A.
Under Level 6 there would be no direct garden watering at all from the town system.
“That would be a major milestone if we got there,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “That’s why we’re working hard to prevent that stage happening.”
Level 6 would mean residents looking to use alternative sources such as grey water, bore water or tank water on their gardens rather than the city’s tap water.
Mayor Kidd said a review of Level 6 restrictions for business had begun.
“Because we’ve never got to Level 6 restrictions for the non-residential business sector before, we’re reviewing the details of those restrictions to see how we can deliver the best result for the whole community. We want to provide accurate information, so those details will be publicised once the review is complete.
“Council is already working with key business water users to work on how they can save water. While there are growing signs we may be able to avoid going to Level 6, businesses can be assured the council will continue to work with them to gradually reduce their water use, rather than do that abruptly.”