Walcha receives reprieve

THE small town of Walcha has had a small reprieve in its water woes, thanks to rainfall in the catchment.

Mayor Janelle Archdale said there had been good falls in the Macdonald River catchments to the south and the river was flowing again.

She said the first flow would flush the system out and be let go, and the town’s supply would draw from the second flow.

“It sounds like we will definitely have more than six weeks’ of water left now,” she said.

“We still have the option of two dams on private property, but, if we continue to get good rain in that southern catchment area, hopefully our problems will be over.” 

Cr Archdale said there were already long-term plans in the making to deal with this issue if it arose again.

“We already had in our budget to develop a drought management plan, a demand management plan and we’re going to do a yield study as well,” she said.

“The yield study looks at if we get this much rain in this area, how much water does that put into our water supply? A report on those things will come to council next month for council to consider.”

Cr Archdale said there were long-term measures to be considered in those plans.

“One option will be the government reinstating subsidies for household rainwater tanks,” she said.

“I’ve already mentioned this to (member for Northern Tablelands) Adam Marshall and I’m meeting with him (today) and I’ll raise that with him again.

“The rainwater tanks mean that everything they catch over 12 months is that much they don’t have to draw from the river.”

Walcha is on level three water restrictions, with only buckets to be used for outside watering.

Level four was to have been introduced this week but would now be avoided.

“We have deferred that change until we see how it goes over the next two weeks, but we are definitely not going off level three yet,” Cr Archdale said.

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