Mid Coast residents can expect above average rainfall across the region for the rest of spring and into summer.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a La Nina alert is still in place and coupled with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole index, a combined rainfall of between 200mm and 400mm is predicted.
That means the Christmas and New Year period is likely to look vastly different to last year when bushfires gripped the coast.
Given the data and predictions, MidCoast Council is adamant water restrictions will be unlikely during the warmer months. However, residents are still encouraged to use water efficiently.
According to council's latest water usage, water resources and future outlook report, issued to councillors at the September 23 ordinary meeting, water usage from the Manning scheme is lower in comparison to previous years.
Following an assessment earlier this month, it was determined water usage for the five local supplies was below the median usage in the past five to seven years.
The largest difference was Gloucester, down 26 per cent.
In the past 18 years, there has been a noticeable downward trend in water consumption from the Manning scheme due to water efficiency, sensible use and increase in prices.
The river flow at Killawarra had several significant rises earlier this year and is higher than drought periods in 1980, 2014 and 2019. Bootawa Dam also sits at 100.9 per cent.
The Bulahdelah, Gloucester and Tea Gardens schemes had no noteworthy changes in recent months.
This shouldn't come as a surprise but Australia's climate prediction for the coming decades is dire.
Temperature rises, more extremely hot days, fewer cool days, drop in cool-season rainfall, more fire danger days and more time spent in drought is just the beginning.
The bureau said temperatures on the Mid North Coast had risen at a rate of 0.2 to 0.4 degrees every decade so far.
Council acknowledged climate change would have a potential long term impact on water resources, with opportunities to enhance preparation identified in its climate change risk and adaptation strategy and the water cycle management strategy review.
Meanwhile, the NSW Government Department of Primary Industries combined drought indicator suggests most of the Mid Coast local government area is drought free.
You may also like: Hallidays Point home brewer wins top drop in annual competition
The indicator shows Harrington to Seal Rocks and west to Gloucester is drought free and as such production for farmers won't be limited by climatic conditions. The remaining areas, north to the Hastings and south to the Upper Hunter, remain drought affected.
Rain has helped wet soils and fill dams but those still drought affected need constant above average rainfall for streamflow and water storage to join the rest of the region.
The bureau understands there has been consistent rain nationwide this year, but doesn't think the drought is over yet.
In other words, a good run of rain won't undo the damage caused by consecutive dry seasons.
Thank you for valuing local journalism with your subscription. While you're with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from the Great Lakes Advocate. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.