Weekend rain fills Spring Creek dam, boosts Suma storage levels

Steady rain and snowfalls across the weekend in Orange have filled Spring Creek Dam and boosted the level of Suma Park Dam.

After reaching 40 percent of capacity last week, Orange’s combined water storage reached the 50 per cent mark around 1pm today.

Orange recorded 41.2 mm of rain on Saturday and Sunday. The capacity of Spring Creek Dam has been slowly building in recent weeks. Water topped the dam wall at around 11.30 pm last night.

The overflow from both Spring Creek and Gosling Creek dams is now flowing downstream into Suma Park Dam, further boosting water levels on top of inflows from stormwater harvesting and the Macquarie Pipeline.


MILESTONE: Water flows over the spillway at Spring Creek Dam.

Orange mayor Reg Kidd has welcomed the rain, but is urging residents to press on with water-wise strategies.

“The weekend falls have come at just the right time to deliver the follow-up rain we need,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “A week ago Spring Creek Dam was at 78 percent. Now there’s 200 mm of water flowing over the dam wall. That’s fantastic for our community.”

“The long-term weather models are pointing to a wetter than normal Spring, but we’ll need every drop to boost our water storage ahead of Summer.”

“The 50 per cent milestone is the automatic trigger-point for Orange residents to move from the Very High Level Four water restrictions to the High Level Three. It’s important that we have an organised, predictable system, so residents can know the trigger-points when we’re going into water restrictions and when we can expect an easing of restrictions.

“We went from Level three to Level Four in April last year, when we reached 40% of storage. Now we’re being conservative and waiting to move back to Level Three at the higher 50% mark.

“I’m sure the community has learnt the lessons of responsible water use, and people won’t be in any hurry to use more water than they need to.

“Whether it’s three, four or five, the important thing for Orange residents to remember is that we’re all still on water restrictions. Let’s not get caught up in talking about the difference between watering on two days a week, or every other day on the odds-and-evens system. It’s still Winter and with this rain, no one has to be out watering their garden.

“We need to use water responsibly despite the differences between one level of water restrictions and the next.”

ORANGE’S WATER STORAGE

As of 7.18 am today (Monday):

  • Lake Canobolas 100%
  • Gosling Creek Dam 100%
  • Spring Creek Dam 100%
  • Suma Park Dam 37.67%

KEY ELEMENTS OF LEVEL 3 (HIGH) WATER RESTRICTIONS:

  • Watering gardens and lawns is permitted using micro-sprays and soakers during three hour periods every other day using the odds and evens system (3 hours morning and 3 hours evening, every other day)
  • During those two periods, hand-held hoses with a trigger-nozzle are limited to one hour  Fixed watering systems and moveable sprinklers are not permitted
  • Watering periods are 0700-1000 and 1600-1900 (Winter)
  • Council permission required for first fill of swimming pool, topping-up of swimming pools permitted within limited watering period hours
  • Car washing at home permitted using bucket or pressure hose
  • Irrigation of new turf permitted for one week, then Level 3 water restrictions apply

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