Blayney to go to level three water restriction on July 1, unless it pours down

Lake Rowlands when it's full.
Lake Rowlands when it's full.

We're not at the five-minute shower level yet, but as decent rain refuses to fall across the catchment, Central Tablelands Water will almost certainly be introducing level three water restrictions on July 1.

General Manager of CTW Gavin Rhodes said that it was important that the decision was made sooner rather than later.

"At the moment the water levels are at 50.5 per cent, but the outlook isn't looking good so it looks like we'll be going to level three," he said.

Of concern is the possibility that as the weather warms up in the spring, the water usage and evaporation will naturally increase, potentially leaving Lake Rowlands at near record low levels.

CTW will be making the decision on whether they go to level three at their next meeting in Canowindra on June 13, and the Chairman of the CTW board David Somervaille, is supportive of the move to level three.

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"The daily demand is half what we use in summer and the levels are hovering around the 50 to 52 per cent range," he said.

"At the moment the inflows are matching the outflows and normally around this time the dam is filling up.

"I prefer to err on the side of caution and go to level three now, and if we do get a lot of rain we can then take it off."

Mr Rhodes said that the CTW network was also using bores to supplement the supply.

"We have bores down in Goolagong and they definitely help lessen our dependence solely on Lake Rowlands," he said.

The most recent time that Blayney was at level three was in October 2006 when the trigger at that time was 55 per cent.

During that period of drought (2006/2007) CTW implemented Level 4 restrictions at 50 per cent in December 2006 and Level 5 restrictions in February 2007 when it dropped to 45 per cent.

Mr Rhodes said that it never went to level 6 despite the level dropping to 38 per cent in late February 2007.

Management at the time resisted going to level 6 as usage on Level 5 was below the target levels that was set for Level 6 restrictions.

"In early March 2007 after a storm event in the Neville area, Lake Rowlands increased to 49.5 percent and after subsequent follow up rain filled to 100 per cent by August 2007," he said.

"However, the long term rainfall forecast is not looking favourable."