BUSINESSES have been assured they will be contacted if they are on the list of top 50 water users and need to curb their water consumption.
About 20 people attended a forum for businesses in the Orange Civic Theatre foyer on Wednesday, the first of four water forums to be held across two days.
Orange City Council strategic water manager Wayne Beatty broke down the categories of the top 50, being general businesses, including cafes, at 23 per cent, hospitals at 17 per cent, tertiary education at 13 per cent, hospitality at 12 per cent, schools at 10 per cent, aged care and council buildings each at 7 per cent, shopping centres at 6 per cent and council parks and gardens at 5 per cent.
Of those, up to 14 have already received visits from a council staff member to identify leaks and help businesses either save water or find alternate sources in order to push back the date for level six restrictions.
Level six, which would require residents to slash their water consumption from the current 160 litres per person per day to 120 litres, is currently scheduled to come into force on May 1.
If they stop the [concrete] batching, that stops all building work in Orange.Trent Build director Trent Blowes
However, Mr Beatty said the council's sewerage treatment plant, Orange Aquatic Centre and Orange Civic Centre had slashed their water use to 40 per cent of previous years, while parks and gardens received only 19 per cent of the water they would ordinarily get.
He also said water leaks had been reduced to 7 per cent of the network, compared to a statewide benchmark of 10 per cent.
"We realise we have to walk the walk," he said.
One business owner said her business was listed about 20th and queried why she had not heard from the council since November and was told letters had been sent to all 50 on Tuesday.
GJ Gardner Homes Orange managing director Jake Hurford queried where the construction industry fitted into the mix.
Mr Beatty confirmed the council would meet with concrete batching plant businesses this week to discuss measures.
After the forum, Mr Hurford and Trent Build director Trent Blowes said concrete batching was essential to home construction, especially for slabs.
"If they stop the batching, that stops all building work in Orange," Mr Blowes said.
The pair attended because they did not know what percentage their water footprint took, with most homes taking 2000-3000 litres during the course of the build.
The first community forum will be held at 5pm on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a second at 12.30pm on Thursday.
A second business forum will be held at 5pm on Thursday afternoon.
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