A DEDICATED Manilla weather-watcher has declared the recent dry-spell one of the worst on record.
Garry Speight has been recording rainfall for a number of years in the small town with a rain gauge in his garden.
With no official rain gauge in the town, it’s all he can go off.
He’s fastidiously blogged his findings and compared it with rainfall data from 1883 and has come to a bold conclusion.
There’s never been a drier 15 month period on record.
According to Mr Speight’s measurements, there has only been 400mm of rain recorded in the 15 months in his garden gauge.
It has fell at a rate of 26.7mm per month which is about 49 per cent of the long term average.
It beats a rainfall record set in May 1912 when 404mm fell during the previous 15 months.
While his records might make for dire reading, he said drought was a complicated concept.
“People can get puzzled because there is green grass growing,” Mr Speight said.
“The last three months hasn't been terribly dry, but we keep on being affected.
“My butcher has had five loads of water delivered.
“The effects do go on.”
Long term local and councillor Jim Maxwell said it was as “bad and bare” as he could remember.
“I think it is starting bite in the town now with business and so forth,” he said.
“There’s a little bit of local fodder coming on the market, but whether anyone’s got money to buy it, that’s the other thing.”
He said town water restrictions could get worse if there’s no relief before the hot weather sets in.
Manilla is currently on level two water restrictions.
Nundle remains the hardest hit in the region when it comes restrictions, with council enforcing level three measures in the village.
Bendemeer remains on level one, while Barraba, Kootingal and Tamworth city still have the lowest restrictions in place with permanent water conversation measures advised.
Meanwhile, this week saw Chaffey Dam dip below 50 per cent capacity for the first time since August 2016.
WaterNSW listed Chaffey’s level at 49.9 per cent on Tuesday morning.
Level one restrictions will be triggered in Tamworth and Moonbi-Kootingal once the dam falls to 40 per cent capacity.
Chaffey hit 60 per cent capacity on June 8 and took almost four months to fall to 50 per cent.
Under the level one restrictions, sprinkler use is limited to two hours in the evening, while hand-held hoses can be used between 4pm to 9am Eastern Standard Time or 6pm and 8am Daylight Saving Time.