The Orange City Council has a poorly defined policy toward water and it is the ratepayers who will suffer.
The council claims that there is about 12 months supply in the absence of rain.
Rain in the future may not come in the quantities we have received in the past.
New thinking, planning and management is required however, this will be difficult for so long as there are climate change deniers on council.
Climate change is real.
The continued siphoning of water from the Murray, Darling, Namoi and Macquarie rivers for cotton, almonds and other high intensity water utilising crops will see the systems die.
The emergency supply for Orange is the Macquarie.
We do not have drought we have climate change and that change will soon be a crisis.
We have to adapt and manage at both the micro and macro level.
Water is critical to our survival yet authorities are not treating it as such.Former irrigator and Australian Diplomat Bruce Haigh
The Central West needs an independent auditor of water to advise ratepayers and Councils every two months on the state of water reserves and water usage adjusted accordingly.
In terms of planning councils need to know how much water is likely to be used by any proposed development and DAs adjusted to reflect minimum water in reserve and projected usage.
Like solar panels, water tanks should be further encouraged through increased subsidies.
The council offers limited rebates and BASIX offers some incentive, but more needs to be done, particularly with respect to new development.
Water is critical to our survival yet authorities are not treating it as such.
The mines must be made to recycle and so should cities and towns.
We do not want to find ourselves in the position of Warren, Cobar, Nyngan and Dubbo.
The ratepayers and citizens of Orange should demand much more from their council.
Bruce Haigh is a former irrigator and Australian Diplomat who has observed the effect of badly managed water in a number of countries.
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