4 December 2023

Eurobodalla Shire water restrictions begin despite recent soaking

| Claire Fenwicke
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Tuross Head

The Eurobodalla is an attractive location for tourists during the summer, with Council enforcing Level 1 water restrictions in anticipation of extra visitors. Photo: Andrew McLaughlin.

Level 1 water restrictions have begun for the Eurobodalla region, with the council still concerned that supply could be heavily impacted over the next few months.

Despite recent heavy rain, Council’s infrastructure services director Graham Attenborough explained flows in the Tuross River could still drop to the point that sufficient water can’t be pumped to meet the extra demand from visitors over summer.

“Whether we lift restrictions, remain at Level 1 or even move to Level 2, in the next fortnight we’ll have a better idea if the river will have enough water over the high demand period to pump and supply in the south,” he said.

“We’ll review our position in the coming weeks.”

Water storage at Deep Creek Dam remains full, however water in the Deua and Tuross Rivers has been falling.

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The Eurobodalla’s water supply is in two parts, with the whole shire supplied by the northern system (drawing water from the Deua River to store at Deep Creek Dam and feed the northern water treatment plan) between February and November.

The Christmas holiday period sees demand for water exceed the 20 megalitre-a-day capacity for the northern plant, meaning an extra four megalitres a day are added from the southern system. This is where water is drawn from the Tuross River to feed the southern water treatment plant.

Mr Attenborough encouraged both residents and visitors to the area to conserve water at all times.

“Level 1 water restrictions simply formalise the basic water-saving measures we should all be practising… [and] help ensure supply over our busy Christmas period,” he said.

Level 1 water restrictions mean the washing down of hard surfaces such as paths and driveways is banned, along with the use of sprinklers, micro-spray systems and unattended hoses.

Gardens can be watered between 5 pm and 10 am using a hand-held hose or drip irrigation system.

Private vehicles can be washed using buckets, with a final rinse by trigger-nozzle hose, between 5 pm and 10 am.

Washing watercraft, trailers and vehicles at boat ramps is banned and boat motors must be flushed on grass.

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Efforts to further shore up the shire’s water supply are continuing, with the construction of the $130 million Southern Water Supply Storage a priority for Council.

“The southern dam will go a long way to securing Eurobodalla’s water supply into the future,” Mr Attenborough said.

“We’re on track for a late 2024 completion, but significant rain to fill it will be required before it becomes fully operational and integrated.

“In the meantime, we will continue to use water restrictions as needed to maintain supply capacity and ensure adequate storage.”

The dam in the shire’s south will be able to hold 3,000 megalitres upon completion.

Information on current water restrictions in the Eurobodalla can be found online or by calling the water hotline on 1800 441 070.

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