Shire on notice as dam falls below 90% capacity

25 February 2019

The water level of Clarrie Hall Dam has fallen below 90 per cent capacity, putting the shire on notice that if significant rain is not received in the next eight weeks water restrictions will be put in place.

The sale and movement of water outside the shire is now banned. That is, water carters can still supply shire customers but cannot sell water across the shire boundary. Water carting is banned from the Uki and Tyalgum supplies.

“The level of the dam is dropping close to 2 per cent a week, meaning we have about eight weeks until we hit 75 per cent capacity and have to declare Level 1 water restrictions,” Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham said.

“To delay the imposition of restrictions, we all need to conserve water where we can. Currently the average use per person per day in the Tweed is 177 litres, against a target of 160 litres per person per day. We know we can do better and there’s no time like now to try.”

If implemented, Level 1 restrictions mean you cannot water your lawn. You can water your garden every second day (using the odd/even house numbering system) but only for one hour between 4pm and 9am using a hand-held hose or 15 minutes using a micro spray or drip irrigation system. No sprinkler or soaker hoses are allowed and no one can water their garden on the 31st of the month.

If you have just laid turf, you can water it for one hour a day for the first 14 days of establishment only.

If you have a swimming pool or spa, you can top it up between 4pm and 9am using a hand-held hose but you cannot empty and refill it. If you are building a new pool or spa, you can fill them.

You can top up a fish pond to keep the fish alive but you can’t build or fill a new one.

You can water your dog or horse but you can’t wash him or his house unless you use a bucket or hand-held hose.

If you are selling or leasing your house and need to wash it down, you can do that with a water efficient high-pressure cleaner with Council approval only.

For cars, it’s buckets anytime or hand-held hoses between 4pm and 9am.

To wash the saltwater off the tinny, you have 10 minutes only using a hand-held hose.

Permitted uses of water are different for commercial customers and for businesses that rely on water as a key input. These customers should refer directly to our Drought Management Policy to manage their water use if restrictions are applied.

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