We're going up, slowly by surely.
For the first time in months, Orange has more water in storage on a Saturday than we had the Sunday before, with encouraging rainfall and the lowering of the Macquarie River pipeline trigger point helping boost the city's storage levels.
According to the latest water storage figures, Orange's total water storage climbed from 21.05 per cent to 21.09 per cent of capacity the week ending February 21.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd has welcomed the milestone, somewhat cautiously though, adding we're far from out of the woods when it comes to the ongoing drought gripping the entire Central West.
"It's a great result, and it comes as a huge encouragement to the people of Orange who continue to try so hard to save water," Cr Kidd said.
Orange residents used 120 litres per person per day last week.
GRAPH: Orange's water storage levels
It's a per-person benchmark the city's population has met for months, and despite that conscious effort to use less water dam levels have steadily declined.
But now, Cr Kidd says with a more workable trigger point Orange will see the benefit of having the pipeline.
"We've had scientific modelling done that predicts that, even during a drought, there's enough flow in the Macquarie River to make a difference to Orange's supplies," he said.
"It's encouraging to see that our real-life experience of this past week is concrete evidence that supports that modelling.
"The broader Orange catchment also benefited from this week's storms. While Orange missed most of the storms, the catchment of Spring Creek dam had some good rain which improved the water levels there as well."
Cr Kidd said further rain was needed to ensure Orange's storage enjoyed more in-flows in the future.
"The extra water in Suma Park dam comes on top of the work to increase the height of the dam wall," Cr Kidd said.
"In 2016 we increased our storage significantly. If that hadn't happened we'd be in a much tougher position now.
"We're not out of the woods yet ... but with the range of projects that are being explored at present our sustainable future looks very achievable."
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