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Water Restrictions-Water Are They and Water Can You Do?

Water is our most precious resource. Meghan Richardson discusses water restrictions and what they mean for the Lower Hunter. 

It’s been a month since level 1 water restrictions were implemented across the Lower Hunter but what exactly are restrictions? What does level one mean? And more importantly, how do these restrictions affect you?

The Lower Hunter region including Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Dungog and parts of Singleton are reducing their water consumption for the first time since 1994 in response to the worst drought on record currently occurring in NSW.

The region’s largest source of water, the Grahamstown Dam is at only 64.6%, the lowest it has been in two decades. There are fears that if there is low rainfall throughout the summer the number may drop to under 40%.

hunter

Image Source: Hunter Water https://www.hunterwater.com.au/Water-and-Sewer/Water-Supply/Water-Storage-Levels.aspx

Hunter Water reported that their customers use between 190-200 litres of water per day, which is 10% more than other areas, like Melbourne or the Central Coast.

In response, level one water restrictions were announced. These regulations are enforceable with fines of $220 for individuals or $550 for businesses.

Level one restrictions require businesses and residents to use specialised water-saving sprinklers and watering systems, they must use a trigger nozzle with hoses or high-pressure cleaners, and they cannot leave hoses unattended or hose off paved areas.

To aid people with this transition ABC Newcastle and Hunter Water partnered together in a water conservation campaign called ‘Water Warriors’. The initiative will challenge local residents to decrease their water usage and the winner will receive a water tank valued at $10,000.  Other prizes include a $500 gift card or a tour of The Reservoir.

Hunter Water will be monitoring water meters to review how much water is being saved each week and ABC Newcastle will be dedicating radio segments to exploring issues with water-saving and discussing common questions.

Hunter Water Acting Executive Manager Customer Strategy and Retail, Glen Robinson, said residents can work together to reduce water use.

“Like most areas across our state, our region is feeling the impact of drought, with Level 1 water restrictions starting for the first time in 25 years. We’re thrilled to partner with ABC Newcastle for this campaign to spread the importance and value of our precious resource and find ways to conserve it together,” Mr Robinson said.

The competition began on Monday 21st October and will run for four weeks, ending on Monday the 11th of November.

For more information visit ABC’s Website.

 

Feature Image: Levi Xu via Unsplash, no changes made 

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