SUSPENDING level three water restrictions until the new year would risk a quicker transition to level four and level five, councillors have been warned.
Orange City Council heeded advice on Tuesday and kept level three rules in place while opting to allow hand-held hoses for garden watering every second day, for an hour at a time.
Councillor Glenn Taylor originally moved to defer the restrictions until January to give ratepayers a break over Christmas, but the council’s technical services director Ian Greenham was concerned.
Lifting the restrictions early and going very quickly into level four and perhaps level five, I’m not too keen on.Technical services director Ian Greenham
“Lifting the restrictions early and going very quickly into level four and perhaps level five, I’m not too keen on,” he said.
The council already anticipates Orange could enter level four water restrictions by the end of February assuming no inflows and maintained demand.
Those restrictions – last implemented in 2007 – would mean five-minute showers and no overnight use of evaporative air conditioners.
Watering periods would be cut from the current six hours every other day to two hours on Wednesdays and Sundays with a bucket, soaker hose, microspray or drip system.
A permit would be required to fill a new pool, while watering lawns and washing cars would be outlawed.
Level five restrictions would cut showers to three minutes, garden watering to one hour on Sundays using a bucket only, while filling pools would not be allowed.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Cr Taylor said he felt banning hoses was punishing people, particularly older people who might struggle with a bucket.
“We’ve never lifted water restrictions completely… but as soon as there’s a trip wire there, we go out and punish them,” he said.
“People are already under level three daily use.”
Sprinklers remain banned under level three and hoses are not to be used on cars.
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