Upper Hunter Shire Council promoting ways to use less, with the introduction of voluntary Water Wise Rules

UPPER Hunter Shire Council is promoting ways to use less water with the introduction of voluntary Water Wise Rules, for areas not already on restrictions.

With NSW in drought, and Murrurundi under the highest level of water restrictions, all residents, businesses and organisations are encouraged to consider ways they can save water.

The rules involve simple changes in behaviour that could reduce water consumption by up to 10 per cent.

1. Only water lawns and gardens before 10am and after 4pm.

2. Always use a trigger nozzle if you need to use a hose.

3. Use a bucket when cleaning vehicles, boats, and trailers and a broom on hard outdoor surfaces, like pathways.

Many NSW councils and Hunter Water have already introduced variations on Water Wise Rules or Voluntary Water Restrictions.

Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood said the Water Wise Rules were not just about conserving a precious resource, it was also about equity.

“We can all do more to conserve water,” Cr Bedggood said.

“There are more than 14,000 people in the shire, but only half are in Scone or Aberdeen where there is a very secure water source from Glenbawn Dam. 

“Merriwa’s water supply is also holding well. 

“While those towns are not facing actual water restrictions, with so many others including Murrurundi residents and those outside the towns struggling with a lack of water, it is really important to always be careful and respectful with water use.

“If you choose to use large volumes of water, expect higher water accounts. 

“All water rates go into the Water Fund and are used to improve water infrastructure across the shire.”

Council has committed to a $60,000 metered water filling facility at Merriwa funded from council’s Water Fund and a request to the NSW Government.

Other initiatives undertaken or underway include donating water to farming families in need through local Lions clubs, the Murrurundi emergency water supply bore and Scone to Murrurundi pipeline.

Council also assists residents to install large rainwater tanks with a $400 rebate. 

Find out more at http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/our-services/community-grants/rainwater-tank-rebate.aspx

Council is reviewing the shire’s Drought Management Plan aiming to simplify restriction levels and review trigger points for restrictions so they can be more effective.