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Council is exploring a number of bore site opportunities across the LGA. Test drilling will commence soon to identify whether there is enough bore water and quality to supplement the existing water supply. At the very least if the water is not suitable for treating it may be used to water playing fields.
Yes, businesses are being urged to reduce their water usage by up to 25%. To achieve additional savings, key water saving actions will be required.
Yes. Council will consider applications for exemptions from residents and businesses. Application forms are available on Council’s website.
No. Water for stock must be sourced from an alternative water supply.
Treated water is available for internal domestic use only. Once you have treated water in your tank you must adhere to level 5 water restrictions.
No – unless you have applied for and received an exemption (usually for vulnerable members of the community).
Yes, but not enough. Water usage is down to about 180 litres per person per day but that is still too much. We all need to do a bit more to reduce our daily water use. We need to try and reach 160 litres per person per day now, and less in time if the drought continues.
Council has ceased watering parks and sports grounds to save water, except where bores or reuse is possible.
We are partnering with a range of groups as part of our water conservation activities. This ranges from local businesses, to community groups to the University of New England. We are combining our efforts to reduce the overall water usage in Armidale.
Business are being asked to reduce water use by up to 25% where possible. Council is assisting businesses to self-audit and seek ways to reduce water use sustainably.
Level 5 water restrictions triggers specific water use targets. Communication and engagement programs to raise awareness and assist local residents to reduce water use to 160 litres per person, per day have already commenced. Armidale Councillors (Brad and Jono) have prepared videos to help raise awareness about the types of things you can do to save more water.
If water levels continue to drop, at the estimated 250 days to empty we will target further restrictions. This will mean moving to 120 litres per person, per day.
Level 5 water restrictions started on 1 October and will remain in force until further notice.
The region needs a significant rain event where the Malpas Dam water level rises to above 60% before restrictions may be lifted.
Networked water is sourced from Malpas, Guyra and Puddledock Dams. Water in Gara and Dumaresq Dams are not on the network but water could be available for emergency services.
If you are worried about making changes then call Council to discuss.
While 60% sounds like a lot of water, that’s only enough for 4 weeks’ supply so we need to take measures now to reduce water usage. The water in Puddledock Dam has already been incorporated into our day zero calculations.
Council will monitor and audit water users across the region and take action if there is noticeable non-compliant behaviour.
No. The pipeline will now supply all of Guyra’s water and saves Council the cost of carting water. It doesn’t increase the amount of water across the Armidale region. The best thing we can do to avert a water crisis is to use less today, to save more for tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Council is unable to harvest the water without disrupting the testing process. Testing is required to confirm the safe amount of water that can be extracted without adversely impact on the aquifer. When testing the water quantity and quality, the flow could continue uninterrupted for up to 72 hours. Moving the hose - to harvest the water or for some other reason - affects pressure levels and distorts the readings, reducing the reliability of test results. Water discharged during this test could also contain contaminants from the drilling process.
Where possible, drilling contractors are redirecting this water to nearby water courses, which can be done without affecting test results.
The test drilling and any resulting production bores will be sunk much lower than existing nearby bores, to avoid impacting on groundwater supplies already being utilised by adjacent landholders.
We are looking at reserves much more than 100m underground, while the bores already in place are typically 30 to 40 metres deep. The top 30 metres of each Council bore will be sealed off to protect existing bores.
Once test drilling identifies aquifers likely to meet a benchmark yield of five litres of water per second, Council will liaise with landholders near each of those sites, as contractors return to undertake further drilling and potentially begin the installation of bore equipment.
That public liaison may include monitoring existing bores nearby to reaffirm the ground water reserves we’re targeting are not linked to aquifers already being accessed by landholders.
Monitoring bores are being constructed to check groundwater levels on a regular basis.
Council engaged a hydrogeologist to identify likely sites for aquifers that will have adequate water quantity and quality to adequately supplement the needs of the region’s town water supplies under severe drought conditions.
As a result of the hydrogeologist’s findings, contractors have been hired to drill test bores at 36 sites:
10 in Guyra and surrounds
26 in Armidale and surrounds
Test drilling has indicated seven of the bores in Guyra and a number of sites in Armidale might yield the benchmark level of five litres of water per second. Test drilling is continuing in Armidale.
Sites that meet the benchmark yield will be developed for use in the town supply, after test pumping and quality testing to confirm water quality complies with Department of Health guidelines.
Test sites that meet the benchmark yield will need to undergo:
This test pumping and quality testing is expected to continue until mid to late February, before the bores can start supplementing the town water supplies.
Even if the bores deliver the
quantities of water we’re hoping for, they will still be relatively small
compared to our dam supplies. Careful water conservation will still be necessary
to extend our remaining supplies until we finally get substantial rain.