THE most severe water restrictions available have been put in place in Murrurundi until further notice, as its dam drops to 16 per cent usable volume.
Upper Hunter Shire Council made the call to implement level 6 restrictions from midnight Wednesday.
Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood said the water situation called for “emergency measures”.
Town water must not be used on lawns or gardens, in pools or water features, or on outside surfaces or vehicles.
“Field work is under way to find new bore locations and we are seeking funds from the state government for new pipe infrastructure and – in the worst-case scenario – to truck more water into town,” he said.
Cr Bedggood said that, with the current weather conditions and infrastructure, there was only enough potable water to last until the end of the year.
“So we need to find other sources, prior to the completion of the Scone to Murrurundi pipeline in 2020.”
The situation, the response
Level 6 water restrictions aim to reduce the use of town water by 85 per cent, or 140 litres per person per day.
The town has had less than 170mm of rainfall in the first half of 2018.
The level of Murrurundi Dam has dropped to less than five metres, which is 36 per cent of its capacity, and only 16 per cent usable volume.
Very little water is available in the Pages River filtration gallery.
“We know that most residents are taking their water conservation very seriously,” Cr Bedggood said.
“We need everyone to get on board, particularly as we head toward spring.”