Orange's water use halved in 15 years

WATER-WISE: Zena Clout takes water restrictions into account when she gardens at her Glenroi Avenue home. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0217jkwater3

WATER-WISE: Zena Clout takes water restrictions into account when she gardens at her Glenroi Avenue home. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0217jkwater3

RESIDENTS have been reminded to stick to level two water restrictions after recent hot weather.

Restrictions set a target of 240 litres of water per person per day, but in the week to February 16, the average was 307 litres.

During winter, usage is usually far below the threshold.

Orange City Council environmental sustainability development policy committee chairman and councillor Neil Jones said summer spikes were normal.

“But it is a reminder that people need to continue to use water wisely,” he said.

However, he said it paled in comparison to 2001, when peak usage was 880 litres a day.

During the period, ratepayers used a collective 45 megalitres a day.

Now, the summer average is 20 megalitres a day in summer and 13 megalitres a day in winter.

Cr Jones said even the usage during the recent peak was 25 megalitres a day despite the population growth since 2001.

“What’s happened since then, we’ve introduced water restrictions, we’ve introduced a user-pays system where you pay on a rising scale on how much you use, we’ve introduced a whole lot of things like water-saving shower heads and water tanks,” he said.

“We’ve demonstrated we’re responding to the harsh water conditions by using significantly less water than we did 15 years ago.”

Orange is permanently on level two restrictions as a water saving measure after the city almost ran out in 2010.

Orange Garden Club publicity officer Zena Clout said she was mindful of water restrictions in the garden and during the latest heatwave, only watered once.

“I don’t water the lawn at all,” she said.

“I suppose the garden has been stabilised for quite awhile – my daughter just started a new garden so she has to water it until the plants are rooted and start to grow.”

Level two water restrictions

  • Gardens may be watered between 6am-9am and between 6pm–9pm every second day under the odds and evens system. Watering of new turf is allowed for one week after laying, after which time level 2 restrictions apply.
  • Topping up and filling of garden water features and swimming pools is allowed, however watering of hard surfaces is not.
  • Washing vehicles at home is allowed any day between 9am-12noon on the lawn with a bucket and may be rinsed with a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
  • If a home’s water source, such as a tank, is topped up from the council’s water supply or if a home has a purple pipe system, level two restrictions must still be adhered to.
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