Lake Rowlands drops to 42 per cent

Going down: Gavin Rhodes inspecting the outlet valve and the level of Lake Rowlands which is now at 42 per cent. Photo: Mark Logan.

Going down: Gavin Rhodes inspecting the outlet valve and the level of Lake Rowlands which is now at 42 per cent. Photo: Mark Logan.

As the skies steadfastly refuse to open up, Central Tablelands Water (CTW) has raised water restrictions across its entire network to level four for the first time since 2006-07.

The restrictions impact towns such as Canowindra and Gooloogong.

In contrast Cowra residents still face no restrictions to water use.

General manager of CTW Gavin Rhodes said Lake Rowlands was now at 42 per cent, and although the normal level at which they would introduce level four was 40 per cent, it was important they acted early.

"We're right in the middle of peak demand across the network so we have to introduce the higher restrictions because the long term rainfall forecast for the Lake Rowlands catchment area is not looking favourable," he said.

"We need to continue to act responsibly in managing our finite resource."

We need to continue to act responsibly in managing our finite resource

Central Tablelands Water

Although level four restrictions commenced on January 1, Mr Rhodes said that data had shown the residents were already heeding the message regarding water use.

"At level four we like to see water use at 200 litres per person, per day," he said.

"Before Christmas though, even when it was incredibly hot, we saw water use at only 160 litres per person, per day. That's really encouraging."

CTW supplies not only Goologong with water, but is also responsible for supplying parts of Weddin Shire which includes towns such as Grenfell and Cabonne Shire which supplies Canowindra, both heavily reliant on evaporative styles of cooling.

Balancing the water use across such a large and diverse network was a difficult juggle said CTW's director of operations and technical services Noel Wellham.

"Down in the lower reaches of the network we're using our numerous bores to a large degree to lessen the demands from Lake Rowlands," he said.

"As the hot weather continues we're expecting to see demand from those towns to remain much the same because we can't go asking customers to go without their evaporative cooling."

Mr Wellham said that the flow of water out of the dam just before Christmas was to clean silt from the scour outlet on the dam floor.

"We were concerned if the dam level dropped to 20 per cent they would not be able to access the water as it would be below the outlet valve," he said.

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