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This a photo of the tower at Mangrove Creek Dam was taken at the peak of the drought in May 2007. Central Coast Council wants to prevent a similar water shortage in the region. This a photo of the tower at Mangrove Creek Dam was taken at the peak of the drought in May 2007. Central Coast Council wants to prevent a similar water shortage in the region. Featured
12 November 2019 Posted by 

WATER CRISIS CLOSER THAN WE THINK

Councillor calls for urgent action
TERRY COLLINS

THE Coast has been put on a water-saving alert as Central Coast Council pulls out all the stops to prevent what one councillor has described as an impending “water crisis emergency” in the region.

Even though recent heavy rains saw water levels at Mangrove Creek Dam rise by over one per cent, the threshold remains dangerously close to the 50 per cent mark at which Level 1 restrictions will come into play.

That could be before Christmas and Council has launched a campaign aimed at reducing daily water consumption.

But Councillor Greg Best Water would like to see even tougher restrictions in force.

At its October 21 meeting, following a briefing from staff, Council will consider his motion to skip straight to Level 2 restrictions when the dam drops to 50 per cent.

Right now the dam sits at around 53.5 per cent, but a drier than average Spring has been predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Central Coast Council voted in February to lift the bar at which Level 1 restrictions would apply from 42 to 50 per cent, but Cr Best says even this is not enough as drought conditions continue.

He says the Council needs to “take a proactive and leading role in what is emerging to be possibly one of our most significant challenges”.

“To put it simply … if inaction is the order of the day and we are not blessed with rain, we will run 340,000 people, residents, ratepayers and businesses out of water,” he said.

“Currently our region consumes approximately 70-80 megalitres of water per annum.

“To sharpen focus around the task we are facing, climate experts indicate a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino forming in the next few months that will cement even lower rainfall patterns.

“Since the last major drought, climate variability has become a key issue.

Worrying forecasts

“We have forecasts of a catastrophic bushfire season looming, thousands more residents have arrived since our previous drought and the Christmas tourist influx will soon be upon us.

“It is incumbent upon us to act decisively and swiftly around this developing issue.

“If we (go directly to Level 2 restrictions) now and it doesn’t rain, we are ahead of the curve - and if it does rain, we haven’t broken anything,” he said.

Meanwhile, the council is calling on residents to limit water usage to 150L each day, with new online tools available to help householders work out how to cut daily usage

Love water; Live to 150L provides an online calculator which helps work out daily consumption, along with providing water saving ideas and a chance for residents to win a monthly prize by submitting their own weather-wise tips.

Council’s director Water and Sewer Jamie Loader said residents currently use an average 180L per day for showering, washing clothes and dishes, cooking and cleaning.

“Despite recent rain our region is affected by drought and we’re asking every resident to save the equivalent of three buckets of water each day,” he said.

“For instance, we use almost half our household water in the bathroom, so making small behavioural changes like showering for less than four minutes can save thousands of litres every year.”

Although original predictions had estimated that Mangrove Creek Dam would reach 50 per cent in September, but recent rains and the coming back online of Mardi Dam have allowed a temporary reprieve.

Mardi Dam was offline for some time due to warmer than usual temperatures impacting water quality.

Restrictions
Level 2 restrictions would prohibit the use of fixed hoses or sprinklers and limit use of hand-held hoses with nozzles to one hour a day, three days a week, during designated hours.

Under the Water Wise Rules, which apply now, watering is permitted any day before 10am and after 4pm.

Watering of nurseries, commercial gardens, sporting fields and ovals would also be restricted.

For full restrictions visit:

www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au



editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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