ORANGE'S extremely low per capita water usage has enabled Orange City Council to put off level five water restrictions until October.
The trigger point was flagged with the recent water bills, which would have meant three-minute showers and no washing cars at home.
But after a water summit with Central Tablelands Water and Blayney and Cabonne councils, which examined trigger points and which restrictions were introduced at which levels, mayor Reg Kidd said he system needed another look.
Until Tuesday's vote Orange was the only council in the region to introduce level five restrictions at 35 per cent capacity, rather than 30 per cent.
Total storage as of Friday was 34.9 per cent.
"Orange consumptive water use per person per day is about 140 litres - that is about half of Bathurst, certainly less than half of Dubbo's, and the trigger point for level four we wanted to get down to was 200 litres," Cr Kidd said.
"We should be bringing our triggers [in line] with the councils around us and we're hoping level one, two, three means the same in all those councils."
Councillor Glenn Taylor agreed, saying residents did not needed to be educated about water security.
"This is giving them a break," he said.
The cans and can'ts of level four water restrictions
- No lawn watering, plant watering allowed Wednesdays and Sundays 4pm-6pm, half-hour limit on hoses
- Washing cars permitted 9am-12pm
- Filling water features permitted
- Topping up swimming pools allowed 7-9am, 6-8pm. First fill with council permission only
- Five-minute showers recommended, one bath per person
- Clothes washing permitted in full loads
Councillors queried whether Bathurst and Dubbo's positions on rivers and their larger water catchments should be measured against Orange's smaller catchment.
Councillor Tony Mileto compared a schooner glass to a midi glass.
"If there's 30 per cent in each, at the end of the day, the maths is going to be different because of the size of the glasses," he said.
Acting general manager Ian Greenham pointed out Cabonne had "considerably smaller" storage and its trigger point for level five was 30 per cent.
"[Bathurst's] catchment is slightly larger definitely, but Bathurst are also considering going into severe water restrictions in October after the long weekend," he said.
"It's more about how much being used, the demand management has a huge effect on how much longer your water can last."
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