AS severe drought conditions continue in the Upper Hunter and water at Murrurundi Dam drops to dire levels, the highest water restrictions are now being put in place.
Level 6 water restrictions are in place for Murrurundi from midnight Wednesday 11 July 2018 until further notice.
‘Town’ water must not be used for watering of lawns or gardens, topping up of pools or water features, or washing outside surfaces or vehicles.
Murrurundi has received less than 170 mm rainfall in the first half of 2018.
The level of Murrurundi Dam has dropped to less than 5 metres – 36 per cent capacity and 16 per cent usable volume remaining – and very little water is available in the Pages River filtration gallery.
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood said council is seeking additional sources of water.
“After level 6 restrictions, we face emergency measures,” he said.
“Field work is underway 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.
“Under the current weather conditions and infrastructure, the system would only provide sufficient potable water until the end of this year, so we need to find other sources, prior to the completion of the Scone to Murrurundi pipeline in 2020.”
As the situation worsens, Upper Hunter Shire Council has urged residents and businesses to do all they can to conserve water.
They say Level 6 water restrictions aim to reduce use of town water by 85 per cent which amounts to 140 litres per person per day.
Currently Murrurundi is consuming an average of 166 litres per person per day.
“We know that most residents are taking their water conservation very seriously,” Bedggood said.
“We need everyone to get on board, particularly as we head toward Spring.”
The $14.2 million Scone to Murrurundi Water Pipeline project, which aims to provide Murrurundi with a secure water source from Lake Glenbawn, is progressing.
The pipeline will travel 40 kilometres underground to Murrurundi reservoirs and is due to be completed by 2020.