The prolonged dry spell currently being experienced by the Central Highlands has meant an escalation to level 1 water restrictions.
Central Highlands’ Mayor Kerry Hayes said the level of the Fairbairn Dam is the trigger point for action for all towns with the exception of Rolleston and Capella.
‘Our drought management plan sets out the water restriction level and when the dam reaches 15 percent we move to level 1,’ he said. ‘Although, for the time being, it will only apply to Emerald and Blackwater because these are the two largest towns supplied by the dam.’
‘In actual fact, we have been on level zero restrictions for some years and that has always meant some restraint on water use.
‘Under level zero the use of sprinklers is set at specific days and hours, but hand-held hoses are allowed at any time.’
Level 1 restricts the use of automatic watering systems and sprinklers further and affects other activities that use water such as topping up ponds and pools; and washing windows and vehicles.
‘We, as a council, have already made significant changes to our watering regime in public parks and gardens,’ the mayor said.
‘As we introduce level 1 water restrictions on our community we also increase the level of vigilance by council staff who are out and about to make sure people do not ignore their obligation to practice water conservation,’ he added.
Sunwater advised in December 2018 that the previous historic low for Fairbairn Dam was 11.8% in January 2007 and this level was expected to be reached in April 2019. It also predicted that by July 2019 it could be as low as 8.22% if the wet season failed to bring rain to the catchment area.
Visit the water restrictions page for the full list of level 1 water restrictions or contact the customer service centre on 1300 242 686.