Orange set to move to tighter water restrictions

Orange is set to move to Level 5 water restrictions. This weekend’s change to daylight saving time has been chosen as the date when residents will make the switch from Level 4.

Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd is confident Orange residents will be able to manage the change.

“These changes won’t come as a shock to the people of Orange,” Cr Reg Kidd said, “We’ve been living with some level of responsible water use for years now, and the world hasn’t ended.”

“Locals have learnt how to adjust their gardens, how to use mulch, how to have shorter showers, how to run their business, all while using a sensible, responsible amount of water.

“I’m not denying this will be hard, but it’s also very normal. Orange residents have some of the lowest rates of water use in the country. We’re used to this and that’s how we’ll get through this drought. This week residents will be looking at the details of tighter restrictions and thinking through how they can work with them to make our supplies last longer.”

Average daily residential water consumption during the week ending 12 September 2019 was 131 litres per person per day. The target under Level 4 water restrictions is 200 litres per person per day, while for Level 5 the target is 160 litres per person per day.

With Orange’s water storage now reaching 30%, Level 5 restrictions will start from, Sunday 6 October, the same day daylight saving begins.

Orange has been on Level 4 restrictions since 6 April this year, after switching to Level 3 in December 2018.

The key differences between Level 4 and Level 5 are :

  • Moving from a two-hour watering period on two days a week, to a one-hour water time on one day a week. (Sundays 6pm-7pm)
  • No sprinklers, micro-sprays, or soaker hoses. Instead buckets, watering cans, drip system or a hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle for 30 minutes during that single watering period
  • No topping up swimming pools or filling new swimming pools
  • No washing cars at home
  • No filling or topping up water features
  • No filling children’s inflatable pools

These changes are on top of the other continuing restrictions which include:

  • No watering lawns
  • No watering new turf

Among a range of water-saving suggestions are:

  • Making sure the washing machine is full for every load
  • A time-limit of three minutes for showers

The council is planning an extended community awareness campaign, under the banner of ‘Water for Life’.

“The ‘Water for Life’ campaign will include TV, radio and newspaper advertising as well as social media and a lot of online resources on the council website,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“The Orange community has been very creative in coming up with their own water-saving ideas. We’re looking at ways to share those ideas so we can learn from each other’s experience.

“We’ll be in touch with businesses asking them to look


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