Level 3 water restrictions will now be enforced across the entire Local Government Area as Armidale joins Guyra on Level 3 water restrictions from today Tuesday 23 April 2019.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for continuing dry conditions over winter, zero inflow from the catchment into Malpas Dam since the beginning of 2019 and no significant decrease in water usage means Armidale may have significant water shortages by the end of the year.
Council has decided to skip level 2 restrictions in Armidale and align with level 3 restrictions in Guyra to conserve remaining water supply dams and because of a very poor uptake of water conservation by residents. As of today dam levels in Guyra are 40.2 percent and Malpas Dam is 54.9 percent capacity.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said the community is not heeding Council’s advice and reducing water consumption around the home and in the garden.
“Unfortunately we are not experiencing the reduction in water use that we had hoped for,” said Cr Murray. “In fact water usage has increased over the last couple of months in Armidale compared to the same time last year. We cannot continue at this rate of water consumption unless we all make serious changes around the home and in the garden.”
From today Armidale residents will not be able to use garden sprinklers and fixed hoses, hand held hoses, drip irrigation for lawns and gardens, high pressure cleaners or filling private swimming pools. Buckets and cans can be used for the garden and for washing vehicles for 2 hours only and not during the heat of the day 9am – 4pm. Aged and disabled residents are able to use a sprinkler or fixed hose for 15 minutes on Wednesday and Sunday.
“Council is taking these steps now to avoid more serous restrictions having to be imposed in the future,” said Cr Murray. “We don’t want to find ourselves having similar issues to other regional areas that are now experiencing very serious water concerns.”
Businesses who rely on water for their commercial operations may be able to apply for an exemption by contacting Council on 1300 136 833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or download exemption form from the website. Businesses or organisations applying for an exemption must complete an additional Water Saving Action Plan form available on the website to demonstrate water saving practices that significantly reduce water consumption.
Council will commence water patrols in Armidale next week. Under the Local Government Act 1993, the maximum penalty that may be applied for a breach of imposed water restrictions in $2,200 for corporations and $220 for individuals. Council is also asking the community to be vigilant and contact council if people ignore the level 3 water restrictions.
Guided by the Water Sharing Plan for the Macleay River Catchment and the Water Management Act 2000 Council is obligated to release water down the Gara River. Under the plan water releases from Malpas Dam will cease as the dam level has dropped below 55 percent.
Information on water restrictions and water conservation is available here
Published on 23 Apr 2019