Lake Rowlands dropping closer to 2006 levels

As Orange City Council introduces level four water restrictions, Central Tablelands Water is keeping one keen eye on Lake Rowlands, and the other on the long-range weather forecasts.

As of Tuesday, April 9, Lake Rowlands, the supply dam for the CTW network, was at 54.5 per cent, and with the trigger to go to level three restrictions being 50 per cent, general manager Gavin Rhodes has a number of factors to consider before making a decision.

One of the key factors is the level of demand as the weather cools and the possibility of decent rainfalls over the catchment increases.

"Peak summer demand has dropped off by approximately 25 per cent due to the cold weather and evaporative coolers no longer being used," he said.

Unlike the decision to go to level two, made before the level reached 60 per cent, Mr Rhodes said that this time around the circumstances are different.

Peak summer demand has dropped off by approximately 25 per cent due to the cold weather and evaporative coolers no longer being used.

Gavin Rhodes.

"We went early then because we were in that peak summer demand period and we were concerned about the usage and the evaporation, and we hit that 60 per cent mark a lot quicker than normal," he said.

If level three restrictions are implemented watering systems, non-fixed sprinklers and hand-held hoses are not permitted at any time. Microsprays, drip systems and soaker hoses are the only forms of watering permitted.

The odds and even system would continue.


Apart from the dropping levels of Lake Rowlands, Mr Rhodes will be looking upward to decent drops of rain, however the 28 day forecast is not looking optimistic.

This weekend will be a touch damp with rain forecast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, however only light falls are forecast up until May 8.

Lake Rowlands reached its lowest levels in 1983 when it dropped to 30 per cent. 

In 1998 it fell to 45 per cent and in 2006 it was half full at 50 per cent.

An open forum will be held immediately prior to the next CTW meeting in Grenfell.

The forum will operate between 10.30am and 11.00am on Wednesday 17th April 2019 at the Weddin Shire Council Chambers, Grenfell.

The forum is intended to be a genuine opportunity for consumers to address Council and bring any issues of concern, such as service, planning and development to Council's attention.

Intending participants are to advise the General Manager on 6391 7200 or email by 4.30pm 16th April 2019 of their intention to attend to ensure an opportunity to be heard is made available.