IT’S a “confronting” situation in Coonabarabran as the town battles with its lowest water supply since 1964, regional water minister Niall Blair has said.
Mr Blair was in the town today to see the situation for himself and talk about the emergency measures the council has been implementing.
These include investigating and drilling bores for groundwater, installing “dead storage” pumping equipment, and water carting infrastructure.
The town of about 2000 people is on level 6 water restrictions as its dam falls to its lowest level since it was built.
“To stand in the dry Timor Dam is pretty confronting,” Mr Blair said.
“Coonabarabran is experiencing the worst effects of drought and facing serious water shortages, with the town’s water supply at critically low levels.
“Timor Dam is below 23 per cent and, without significant rainfall, this will drop further over the coming weeks.
“Drought doesn’t just affect the land: it flows right through the heart of our communities and unfortunately Coonabarabran is facing some of the most severe effects.”
The situation has been met with $1.7 million in NSW government funding for emergency water works.
“The emergency funding has allowed for the installation of ‘dead storage’ [water that can’t be drained by gravity] pumping equipment, emergency bores to access groundwater and water carting infrastructure.
“The funding will also be used to connect six bores to the water supply over the next three months.
“Once connected, these bores will put the town in a more sustainable position and less reliant on the flow from Castlereagh River.”