Water restrictions not currently on the table

Wyangala Dam is currently at currently 37 per cent of capacity.
Wyangala Dam is currently at currently 37 per cent of capacity.

Despite Forbes, Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tullibigeal, Tottenham and Albert being place on Level 1 water restrictions, Cowra Council has said it’s not currently considering imposing water restrictions on water supplied by Council.

 Cowra General Manager, Paul Devery, said the situation is constantly under review.

“Wyangala is an irrigation dam managed by the NSW Government and the water consumed by urban communities such as Cowra is a fraction, around 2 per cent, of the volume in the river with irrigators being the major consumers,” he said.

“Consumers supplied directly by Central Tablelands Water (CTW) are subject to CTW restrictions. The circumstance may also arise where CTW asks Cowra Council to consider imposing restrictions on water supplied by Cowra but sourced from CTW.

“The triggers (for water restrictions) in Cowra Council’s Drought Management Plan start when Council’s surface water allocation is reduced to 60 per cent. At the present time the allocation remains at 100 per cent,” he said.

Mr Devery said Water NSW’s monthly Water Allocation Statement indicated the Lachlan Valley is at stage 1, normal operating practices, of a 4 stage drought trigger scale.

Water NSW’s weekly report has Wyangala Dam currently sitting at 37 per cent of capacity and currently releasing 2,700ML/d.

Releases are forecast to reduce to around 2,300ML/d during the week.

The report states rain earlier this month totaled about 4,000ML and this is being delivered into the Lachlan as Environmental Water Allowance.

With minimal rain between now and May Water NSW is predicting the water level at Wyangala to fall to just over 20 per cent of capacity.

Even with above average rainfall the level is expected to fall to around 50 per cent.

In January 2019 the Cowra Water Treatment Plan processed 321 megalitres of water for distribution compared to 329 megalitres in January 2018.