Braidwood moving to highest level of water restrictions
Published on 06 January 2020
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council today announced that from Friday 10 January 2020 water restrictions in Braidwood will escalate to Level 4 – the highest level possible in the Queanbeyan-Palerang local government area.
The extended dry period, and pressure placed on local water sources from bushfires in the area, has seen Braidwood’s off-river water storage drop to a concerning level. Council estimates that pumping from the Shoalhaven River will no longer be possible after 10 January, leaving only the off-river storage for town use. That storage currently sits at around 82% of the 72ML capacity and is reducing by approximately 1% every two to three days.
Council will commence transporting potable water to Braidwood in mid-January. Depending on the size of available trucks, up to five or six trucks will continuously deliver water to Braidwood for about 10 hours each day (including weekends). Council is seeking State Government support to cover the costs of water carting.
The average daily usage in Braidwood has been around 490kL since the move to Level 3 restrictions. Under the new restrictions the daily target is 280kL, compared to 360kL per day under Level 3.
“We are in an extraordinary dry spell. The combination of bushfires and ongoing drought continues to place pressure on our potable water supplies. The past few months have been very challenging for Braidwood, with drought, bushfire and water all causing much concern in the community and with Council,” QPRC CEO Peter Tegart said.
Council made access to town water available to rural property owners for their domestic purposes, then introduced water restrictions in November, because of the ongoing lack of rain and above expected usage due to the bushfire emergency.
Council has already suspended all grading to conserve water usage and will now cease all watering of parks and gardens in Braidwood. The Braidwood Pool will remain open until the end of the school holidays, however this will be reviewed at the end of the holidays.
The drought tap at Bicentennial Park, which allows farmland residents to obtain up to 1000l of potable water per day, will remain open, however Council will increase monitoring to ensure it is being used responsibly. Drought taps at Bungendore and Captains Flat also remain open.
Bungendore will remain on Stage 1 restrictions. The Stage 1 target is 1,060kL per day. Current water consumption is approximately 1,600kL per day. Staff will continue to monitor bore performance and ground water levels.
Captains Flat and Queanbeyan will remain on permanent water conservation measures. Queanbeyan’s water is sourced from Icon Water and usage complies with ACT water restriction policy.
Full details of Level 4 water restrictions for Braidwood is available on the QPRC website at: www.qprc.nsw.gov.au/water-restrictions