Poor rainfall outlook with high water demand prompted water restrictions to be elevated to Level 2.
Poor rainfall outlook with high water demand prompted water restrictions to be elevated to Level 2.

Was the weekend rain enough to lift water restrictions?

ROCKY Creek Dam, received more than 200mm of rainfall in the catchment over the weekend, increasing dam level from 60 per cent to 69 per cent.

Emigrant Creek Dam is currently sitting at 61 per cent.

This change was not enough to reduce the general Northern Rivers restrictions on water usage, at Level 2 from Monday.

Rous County Council supplied water services to a population of around 100,000, with the area of operations being approximately 3000sq km.

This supply was supplemented by Emigrant Creek Dam, the Wilsons River and several bore sites.

Mullumbimby, Nimbin and Wardell water supplies are not managed by Rous County Council, but by Byron Shire, Lismore City and Ballina Shire councils, respectively.

Garon Clough, Lismore City Council’s acting manager of Civic Services, said the rain in Nimbin was welcome relief however the situation had not materially changed.

Water for Nimbin was sourced by Lismore council from Mulgum Creek.

The village was now partly reliant on DE Williams Dam, which provided storage in times of drought. The depth of the dam was variable depending on flows of water in Mulgum Creek, extraction rates from the weir and consumption.

“The level in the dam has risen from 48 per cent to 68 per cent over the last week,” he said.

“The level in the dam is still below water restriction implementation level of 87 per cent and consumption from the village still exceeds target demand. Level in DE Williams dam will continue to rise over the coming days as available flow is extracted from Mulgum Creek and the situation is being continuously monitored.”

In the case of Mullumbimby, Byron Shire Council reduced water level restrictions from Level 4 to Level 2 yesterday to align with the regional drought water restriction level.

“We got an impressive 164.5mm in the Huonbrook rain gauge over the weekend and the Laverty’s Gap Weir (that supplies Mullumbimby’s water) is now overflowing but please keep up all the good work saving water around the house and in the garden,” the council said on social media.

Byron Council reminded residents that outdoor watering and car washing restrictions still apply. Further restrictions apply to business water use including public and private pool top ups, vehicle washing and detailing.

Bonalbo, in Kyogle Shire Council, remains at Level 4, plus Woodenbong and Muli Muli at Level three.

In the Ballina Shire, most areas are serviced by water from Rocky Creek Dam, with Marom Creek supplying Cabbage Tree Island and Meerschaum Vale.

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