Its dry really, really dry
By Andy Parks
GREEN thumbs around Urbenville, Woodenbong and Muli Muli will be forced to watch their gardens wilt, after Level 6 water restrictions came into effect on Sunday night.
Levels at the Tooloom Creek Weir Pool are the lowest in living memory, and under the rationing, all external use of reticulated (mains) water is forbidden, amid dire concerns for the long-term viability of the region's supply.
Ivan Von Sanden and his wife Margaret bought a one-acre block in Urbenville when they moved up from Maitland four years ago. The garden is mostly native plants which require less water and maintenance.
"It's surviving at the moment; it's probably at about 60 per cent."
He said the biggest impact the new restrictions hold for him is not being able to hand-water the garden in the evenings.
"It's part of the enjoyment of having a garden," he said. Ken McGregor from the Urbenville Bowling Club said the club wouldn't be affected by the new level of water restrictions after drilling a bore several years ago.
Under the Level 6 restrictions, all commercial and public use of reticulated water is banned unless written approval has been granted by council.
The restrictions also affect farmers' troughs. Those connected to mains water must be filled using buckets.
Woodenbong's Tania Want said she now had to bring the calves up to the house paddock for a drink.
"We're just keeping the calves alive. We're using a foster cow and have to fill up the trough by bucket," she said.
According to Tenterfield mayor Cr Toby Smith, "The Tooloom Creek Weir Pool was 920 mm below the spillway last Monday which is the lowest level in living memory.
"The water level has been dropping at the rate of 50 mm per week and with no rainfall predicted in the near future, there is an imminent possibility of failure of the Urbenville-Woodenbong-Muli Muli Water Supply."
The area has been on Level 3 restrictions since August 1. Level 6 restrictions would be in place until further notice.