Moree Plains Shire residents continue to enjoy an unrestricted water supply, despite the lack of rainfall, thanks to the security of its aquifers and Moree Plains Shire Council's long-term investment in water infrastructure.
Many of Moree's neighbouring shires have some type of water saving measure in place, with permanent water conservation measures in Goondiwindi and Narrabri, level three restrictions in Armidale and level four restrictions in Tamworth, however Moree Plains residents continue to benefit from unfettered access to town water supplies.
And, at this stage, council has no plans to impose restrictions any time soon, despite record breaking water consumption across the shire over the summer quarter.
Moree mayor Katrina Humphries said we often take for granted how lucky we are to have such a secure water supply.
"Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are to be living on top of an impressive system of artesian and sub-artesian water," she said in a statement.
"We are still in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record and despite all our neighbouring shires enduring some form of water restrictions, Moree Plains Shire Council continues to provide an unrestricted safe and secure supply to its residents.
"This is not only thanks to our aquifers, but also thanks to council's long term investment in local water infrastructure that makes the most of our natural resources.
"And although we are not anticipating implementing restrictions across the shire, we do still ask residents to be mindful of their water use as we do our best to manage this precious resource responsibly."
Across its towns and villages council utilises a high security urban supply licenses to pump up to 4,234 megalitres from a combination of bore and river water annually, providing a potable supply to Moree, Boggabilla, Mungindi, Pallamallawa, Toomelah, and a non-potable supply to the villages of Boomi, Garah, Gurley and Weemelah.
Council's water services manager Roland Heatley said the ability to provide a secure supply is dependent on a well maintained storage and pumping system.
"We may have the benefit of reliable bore water, however getting it from the highest volume bore sites across our flat country and to the end user requires an extensive pumping and storage system," he said.
"To combat wear and tear of the hard water on our infrastructure and deliver consistent supply, council has committed to a $3.3m annual water main renewal program as well as a clean and inspect maintenance program to ensure that all of our water infrastructure is thoroughly checked and maintained every three to five years."
On top of renewals and maintenance of its current network, council has also been extending and shoring up potable supply across the region through a number of projects funded under the NSW Government's Water Security for Regions program, including:
- $4.57m fully funded Boggabilla-Toomelah Bi-directional Pipeline (completed 2018)
- $3.96m fully funded Biniguy Potable Water Project (expected completion mid 2019)
- $4.13m fully funded Ashley Potable Water Project (subject to community consultation)
- $3.12m 50 per cent funded Moree Water Supply Project, increasing capacity of the Moree network for industrial and domestic demand (scheduled for commencement in 2020)
"Our water is part of what makes the Moree Plains unique, and council is committed to making the most of it so that our communities and local economy can prosper," Cr Humphries said.