Orange residents are demonstrating responsible water use with declining dam levels, but many neighbouring communities doing it tough might ask if Orange Council's recent decision to relax its water restriction policy sits well on residents' conscience.
Many farmers and communities beyond Orange are suffering extreme hardship in the face of an extended drought and have now been dealt another blow with no general security water allocations and restrictions on other water from July.
Production cuts from reduced water availability for farmers and industries relying on water will hit many communities and businesses, leaving little confidence for relief from difficult times many are suffering.
Burrendong Dam is at five per cent. Water NSW could be months away from pumping water from the bottom of the dam to supply town water to communities downstream.
This environmental vandalism could see Summer Hill Creek dry up this summer downstream at the historical and nationally important Ophir Reserve ... as aquatic life dies out, so too will the creek's remaining platypuses.Denis Marsh, Summer Hill Creek resident
Orange Council meanwhile proposes to lower the river flow trigger for the Macquarie Pipeline and pump more water from the Macquarie River upstream.
Of greater concern, Council proposes to stop all environmental flows to Summer Hill Creek currently required under their licence.
This environmental vandalism could see Summer Hill Creek dry up this summer downstream at the historical and nationally important Ophir Reserve.
As aquatic life dies out, so too will the creek's remaining platypuses.
One wonders if Council had sought the Orange communities feedback before relaxing water restriction policy, whether many residents would have been only too willing to share the burden that so many other communities are facing and embrace saving even more water, rather than stopping necessary environmental flows to Summer Hill Creek and drawing down more water from a struggling Macquarie River to compensate for relaxing water restrictions.
Summer Hill Creek has served Orange well over many years, doesn't it deserve environmental protection downstream in return?
Summer Hill Creek
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