Good inflows from both the Macquarie pipeline and the city’s stormwater harvesting have again pushed back the date when Level 6 water restrictions could begin in Orange.
Last month Orange City Council extended the worst-case scenario date when Level 6 could begin, back to May 15. At a meeting this week, which considered recent inflows, it was decided that date could be pushed back another seven weeks to July 6.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd has welcomed the latest news.
“As a community, Orange is currently going through some tough times, and this news can really lift local spirits,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “We’ll continue to review our position, and work to do all we can to push back the day when we might have to go to Level 6. “
The Council’s CEO, David Waddell, said the new date could be set because of the amount of water that’s come from the Macquarie Pipeline and stormwater harvesting systems.
“The decision by NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey to approve plans to change our trigger point, happened just before some solid falls of rain,” Mr Waddell said. “Since then there’s been steady flows in the river and we’ve been able to pump from the river.”
“Since the new trigger-point was reached we’ve been able to pump 213 megalitres of water from the pipeline. During the same period we’ve harvested another 140 megalitres from our stormwater system.”
“During a time when there’s been no natural run-off inflows into Suma Park, that’s made a significant difference to our storage levels. Those two water sources have added 353 megalitres into our storage.
“When we do the sums comparing what’s come in compared to what we’ve used, that let’s us push the date of the worse-case scenario introduction of Level 6 all the way back to 6 July. That worst-case scenario is based on no inflows from any source.
“The great news from this last set of figures is that when we also take stormwater and the pipeline into consideration, we’ve now got a realistic scenario that we might not even reach the Level 6 mark.
“The residents of Orange will have to continue to work hard to save water for many months to come.”
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said the council is continuing to work on a number of major infrastructure projects.“While these two water sources are good news, we’re not resting on our laurels,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “We’re getting on with the job of developing our water infrastructure, by working on projects which help us get through the next drought.”
“In recent weeks we’ve made progress to secure the pipe we’ll need to construct a new pipeline from Spring Creek dam to the water treatment works.
“We’ve also begun the process that will see an environmental review of the proposed new wetlands to extend our storm water harvesting system.”