60 CALLS A DAY: Reece Donovan, of Alstonville Blu-Water, is struggling to keep up with the demand from households desperate for water as their tanks run dry.
60 CALLS A DAY: Reece Donovan, of Alstonville Blu-Water, is struggling to keep up with the demand from households desperate for water as their tanks run dry. Jay Cronan

Water tanks running dry

WATER carriers across the Northern Rivers are working around the clock to try to meet the demand for their precious commodity.

Reece Donovan, from Alstonville Blu-Water, has been delivering as many as 10 truckloads of water each day to rural homes where tanks have run dry.

He was getting about 60 phone calls a day from people wanting water, he said.

Both 20,000 litre tanks at Sue Robertson's home at Federal are empty.

Ms Robertson has been forced to purchase three loads of water in the past six weeks to keep her household of three adults and one child going.

But at $150 a load she is now thinking she might have to stop watering her garden.

“Do I buy more water, or do I let my plants die and replace them when it rains,” she said.

Across the Northern Rivers, rural residents are being forced to do the same thing. Some are purchasing water for the first time in 20 years.

Phil Herne, from Drought Breaker Water Deliveries in Lismore, said he was averaging one phone call requesting a water delivery every two-and-a-half minutes.

He is working from 3am to 6pm to get the water out to people.

Water carriers in Nimbin and Casino have also reported a huge surge in demand.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Clinton Rakich said yesterday that apart from a few coastal showers today, no rain was forecast for the Northern Rivers any time soon.

However, there was a 50 per cent chance of a return to normal rainfall patterns in summer.

If this happens, residents of the Northern Rivers can expect 100 millimetres of rain in November, 125mm in December, 150mm in January and 180mm in February.

Peak rainfall on the Northern Rivers usually occurs in March, when 188mm is the average.

Check out the up-to-date weather forecast for the Lismore region.



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