Water usage exceeds level two restrictions

AS water levels in Suma Park Dam continue to drop in hot weather, an Orange councillor has urged residents to be more water wise.

Suma Park Dam was at 66 per cent as of January 19, while total water storage is currently at 71 per cent. 

Orange City Council turned on its alternate water sources in November and December, with storm water harvesting contributing 282 megalitres of water.

The Macquarie Pipeline was only operated for a number of weeks in December while river flows allowed, adding 42 megalitres to reserves.

Water bores contributed about 9 megalitres.

Meanwhile, about 470 megalitres was sent from Suma Park dam to the water treatment plant for town use during December.

Orange is under level two water restrictions, with a usage limit of 240 litres per person per day.

As of January 19, usage was 250 litres per person per day, down from a peak of 269 litres on January 11.

While the trend is typical in summer months and the council considers 70 per cent capacity a good position, councillor Stephen Nugent said the recent hot spell was a timely reminder to be more conscious of how much water residents used. 

“We have had a very dry year last year so we should always be conscious of water,” he said.

“People forget that drinking water is a finite resource and we shouldn’t take it for granted.”

Cr Nugent suggested washing the car a little less often and if people really wanted to make the most of their water, collecting grey water from the shower in a bucket for use on household plants. 

“It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years, it’s just little things like that,” he said. 

The council will aim to bring reserves back to a steady level of 80 per cent in the coming months and whether the bores, pipeling and stormwater harvesting will be used will be assessed against weather forecasts.

Resources for water saving can be found at https://www.smartwatermark.org/