NUNDLE woman Rebecca Linich is about to run out of water on her Bowling Alley Point property, an increasingly common occurrence as skies remain stubbornly clear.
Their 20,000-litre tank is down to a level they want to preserve for firefighting purposes, the other tanks on the property are almost dry and the last viable dam for their stock is almost spent.
She and a neighbour in a similar position have appealed to Tamworth Regional Council to access water from the Rural Fire Service point in Nundle, but were told that wasn’t possible given they’re not connected to town water and therefore don’t pay water rates.
Mrs Linich argues they pay rates that include a rubbish service they don’t get and their roads are not given the attention they need, but council’s director of water services, Bruce Logan, said many people were in the same position and the only solution was to buy loads of water.
“They’re no different to so many others who know they have to contact their local water carter,” Mr Logan said.
Tamworth water carter Wayne Smith charges $100 for a 9000-litre load – delivered within a 15km radius of the city – paying council a rate per kilolitre to fill up from the RFS point in Lockheed St.
For Tamworth Regional Council householders with town water connected, there’s a $242 upfront annual charge and then it’s $1.38 per kilolitre.
Mrs Linich and her husband have lived at Bowling Alley Point for 14 years and have never been in this position.
“It’s the worst it’s been,” she said.
“First the river runs dry and now it’s the creeks and springs.”
The property runs some steers and sheep and Mrs Linich said it had got to the point where selling them seemed the only option.
Her frustration mirrors that of so many around the region.
“If it doesn’t rain, I don’t know what we’ll do,” she said.