Manilla and Nundle will move to Level 1 water restrictions on Saturday, and Tamworth Regional Council is “keeping a close eye on Bendemeer”.
TRC water and waste director, Bruce Logan, said lower-than-average rainfall had prompted the move up from the lowest-level permanent water conservation measures.
“The flow of the Peel River – the primary water supply for Nundle – has fallen to a level which is below the trigger for the introduction of Level 1 restrictions under council’s Drought Management Plan,” he said.
“Similarly, the flow of the Namoi River – the primary water supply for Manilla – has dropped to a volume where the flow over the Manilla Weir is below the trigger to introduce Level 1 restrictions.”
Permanent water conservation measures will remain in place everywhere else in the Tamworth council area, Mr Logan said.
Among other changes, the Level 1 rules mean that Nundle and Manilla residents will only be able to water with sprinklers, sprays and fixed hoses between 6pm and 8pm Daylight Saving Time.
This is instead of 6pm to 8am DST under the permanent restrictions.
Nundle has been on permanent water conservation measures since June 11, 2016, and Manilla since July 9, 2016.
“If anywhere goes onto restrictions, the next cab off the rank will be Bendemeer, if it doesn’t rain,” Mr Logan said.
“Tamworth: I’ve seen a forecast from Water NSW and ... with minimal inflows into the dam, it will be at least 12 months before we’re at the level where we would have to introduce restrictions.”
Level 1 rules
TRC’s Level 1 water restrictions mean:
- Sprinklers, sprays, microjet sprays and fixed hoses can only be used for two hours each day, 6pm-8pm during Daylight Saving Time;
- Hand-held hoses can be used 6pm-8am DST;
- No washdown of hard surfaces unless using a high-pressure cleaner;
- Vehicles can be washed any time if using a high-pressure cleaner;
- Recycled, greywater and rainwater can be used only from tanks not connected to the treated water supply; rainwater tanks must be stand-alone and not able to be switched over to the treated supply;
- Pools can be filled and topped up.
The region is in for another couple of hot days with the chance of storms going into the weekend; most of the North West Slopes and Plains is facing 39 to 42 degrees on Saturday.
The dam levels in the region are: Chaffey at 83.3 per cent of capacity; Copeton at 38.3pc; Keepit at 30.3pc; Pindari at 84.2pc; and Split Rock at 27.9pc.