With a large chunk of the Mid Coast LGA 'severely' drought affected, and no substantial rain predicted for the immediate future, MidCoast Council is introducing its summer water savers program two months early.
Traditionally initiated in early October the continuing dry spell has forced MidCoast Council to take action, urging both residents and visitors to be water wise and at the same time warning water restrictions could be introduced in the near future.
"For now, we're urging everyone to be water-wise, conserve water wherever you can and follow our summer water savers tips," MidCoast Council infrastructure and engineering services director, Rob Scott said.
"Our water services team initially thought restrictions would be necessary during this winter, but through good management, a great response from the community in conserving water use, and some very fortunate light rainfall, we were able to avoid restrictions during the winter months," Mr Scott said.
"However, our environmental and engineering experts are closely monitoring river flows, long term forecasts for rainfall and water use figures, and it's very apparent that level one - moderate water restrictions will be needed very soon, perhaps as early as the beginning of September.
If the weather that is forecast eventuates, we're modelling for the possibility of level four - severe restrictions by October - right across the MidCoast region.Rob Scott
"If the weather that is forecast eventuates, we're modelling for the possibility of level four - severe restrictions by October right across the MidCoast region."
The 308mm (515mm for Forster over 81 days) rain received to the start of August was well below the 802mm (847.4mm) average.
During the same period last year Forster had received 1073.9mm (84 days).
Understandably, people ask lots of questions about how and when water restrictions are introduced, and the system is complex, Mr Scott said.
"We have an established system and trigger levels for introducing water restrictions, which are part of a larger NSW standardised system."
Council suggested residents visit the Water Restrictions page if there were any questions about the situation.
"There's a chance to ask any questions you have, if they're not answered there."
The Summer Water Savers message is don't spray in the middle of the day and in addition to sensible outdoor water use, encourages everyone to try to save water inside and out at home.
"We've produced a handy summer water savers fact sheet to guide residents on the program," Mr Scott said.
In addition, visit the Saving Water at Home page, also on the MidCoast Council websitefor online tips and help to conserve water.
Mr Scott said council would issue regular updates to the community in the coming weeks regarding water restrictions.
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