From midnight 25 March 2021 the Armidale region will be moving out of water restrictions into permanent conservation after experiencing significant rainfall overnight which has resulted in full and overflowing dams.
In the last week the upper reaches of the catchment north of Guyra has received approximately 149mm of rainfall. The already saturated catchment has meant yesterday’s heavy rainfall has quickly filled dams.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley said it was an understatement how happy he was to hear the news.
“I am sure I share with everyone in the region the sense of relief knowing our water supply is full and overflowing,” he said.
“It was January 2018 that Council last recorded 100 percent capacity in Malpas Dam so today is a momentous occasion.
“This is a time to celebrate this achievement and reflect on how tough it has been over the last two years battling devastating drought conditions. Now we can take a breath and congratulate the community on its achievements in water conservation.”
Water management including moving in and out of restrictions is now reflected in the new Drought Management Plan that was adopted by Council last month.
When not in active water restrictions Council will now be referring to this as Permanent Conservation. Residents will still be encouraged to practice sensible water conservation and work towards an average per person daily usage of 200 litres per day. The only other permanent change is that sprinklers cannot be used during the heat of the day due to evaporation.
“Permanent conservation is a widely used term across Australia for water utilities when not in active restrictions,” said Mayor Tiley.
“In the Armidale region we have always been able to use sprinklers and use water without any issues. But since the drought and the effects of climate change we cannot go back to those days and must be very aware of conserving water when we can. Water prices are also higher so increased usage will hit your back pocket as well.”