Stakeholder sessions held in Armidale and Guyra have yielded valuable insights into the development of a new drought management plan for Guyra and Armidale’s town water supply.
During 2019 when the region was impacted heavily by the drought and facing our day zero for running out of water it became apparent to Council that the existing drought management plans for Armidale and Guyra did not address current climate changes and were no longer adaptive enough to tackle a severe water shortage. These existing plans also needed to be merged into one.
Fortunately for our region and through the great work of the community we survived the severity of the drought but learned valuable lessons on our path to managing our water wisely.
Interim Administrator Viv May said the recent consultation sessions held with a broad cross section of the community have provided council with suggestions on trigger points, consumption targets and what our new water supply normal looks like.
“These sessions have given us tremendous insight into how the drought last year impacted the community and how Council’s response to managing the crisis was perceived,” said Mr May.
“Overall there was agreement that Council acted quickly and responded well to the water crisis last year however an up-to-date drought management plan for the Local Government Area would have provided better clarity as we stepped through escalated water restrictions.”
Council has now developed an online survey and is asking for feedback from the community on the outcomes of the stakeholder sessions for a final check of where key elements of the draft drought management plan are now sitting.
“We want the broader community to review some of the detail in the draft plan and provide their feedback,” said Mr May.
“The entire community did such a great job in managing the water crisis last year, it is fitting that they have a say on the future of water restrictions and drought management for the Armidale and Guyra’s water supply.”
The survey is available online through Council’s yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au engagement hub and closes on Thursday 26 November. The Draft Armidale Regional Drought Management Plan is expected to be endorsed for public exhibition at the December Council Meeting.
Published on 16 Nov 2020