Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes announced Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff would reduce to level one water restrictions from January 15, 2021.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes announced Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff would reduce to level one water restrictions from January 15, 2021.

Water restrictions ease as dam levels increase

Water restrictions have been lowered to level one as water levels increase at Fairbairn Dam.

Central Highlands Regional Council advised the restrictions would ease from January 15 for Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff.

Fairbairn Dam recorded a 13.9 per cent capacity at 12pm on Friday, or 180,467mL, according to SunWater.

Mayor Kerry Hayes said despite the dam hovering just above the level zero trigger of 13 per cent, a conservative approach was appropriate.

“I have been advised that some inflow is still occurring and there is an expectation that the dam may reach 14 per cent based on that inflow,” he said.

“And this is where we see the need for some flexibility in determining the restriction levels and it is prudent that we wait to see what the season brings rather than reducing restrictions for these towns to level zero.

“I encourage people to not let the horse bolt through the gate and continue using water smartly and applying those conservation measures they have implemented over the past month, particularly as we begin to water our lawns again.”

The biggest change will be the usage of sprinklers on lawns and garden beds for two hours in the mornings and two hours in the evenings.

Residents must continue to comply with their designated watering days.

Cr Hayes said while parts of the Central Highlands’ catchments had received good rainfall, it was not drought-breaking and some places missed out.

“Capella Creek hasn’t received enough to allow council to harvest water for the town’s storage dam,” he said.

“It will be monitored closely, and council will inform the community should water restrictions change for Capella.”

Tieri water restrictions will remain at level one to assist with ongoing maintenance work at the water treatment plant while all other Central Highlands’ towns are on level zero.

These restrictions apply to the use of urban treated and raw water. They do not apply to the following:

  • Rain, grey or private bore water.
  • Properties holding their own water allocations or license.
  • Properties with a council exemption.

See council’s website for more information on water use under each restriction level.



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