Orange’s extra sources of water made a significant contribution to the city’s water supply during September, despite the ongoing drought.
Because of parched paddocks in the catchment of Suma Park dam, there was no run-off into the dam from the two rainfall events during the month. According to the weather Bureau, Orange received a total of 56.8 mm of rain during the month of September, below the September average of 78.9 mm.
However, the two rain events did produce flow from Orange’s stormwater harvesting scheme and the Macquarie pipeline.
During the month of September 84.37 megalitires of water was added to the city’s storage, which delivers about eleven extra days worth of water.
Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said the latest tallies are an encouraging sign for Orange residents as they come to terms with tighter water restrictions starting on the weekend.
“It’s so dry that fifty-six millimetres of rain across a couple of separate rain events was never going to produce any natural run-off into Suma Park,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “But that’s the beauty of our stormwater harvesting scheme, that when it comes to rain falling on our car parks and roads, there’s almost instant run-off.”
“So in the middle of one of our longest droughts, we’re harvesting water and boosting our water supply from small-scale rain events.
“The Macquarie Pipeline is also making a contribution. The advantage of that system is that it links our water supply to much larger catchment area. Suma Park has a small catchment, about 180 square kilometres. The pipeline connects to a catchment in the Upper Macquarie of 8,000 square kilometres.
“Rain across that area boosted flows in the river towards the end of the month, and we were able to pump 12.3 megalitres into Suma Park. It all helps.
“To get through this drought, Orange has a number of irons in the fire. Without stormwater harvesting and the pipeline we would be hitting Level 5 restrictions months earlier. We’ve raised the height of the dam, but we’re also relying on residents to do all they can to make our supplies last as long as they