Moree Plains Shire Council will be unable to supply water to Mungindi and Weemelah until June 2020, so residents across the shire are being urged to be mindful of their water consumption as the drought continues.
"Council has been formally advised by WaterNSW that there will be no further planned water releases until June 30, 2020 to supply water to Mungindi and Weemelah," council's water services manager Roland Heatley said in a statement.
"Now is not the time to be complacent and we urge residents (particularly in Mungindi and Weemelah) to be attentive of their water usage. These dry times will end but at this stage we need to be very careful of this precious resource."
Water levels and consumption will be monitored by council fortnightly, to ensure adequate supply is maintained to all residents.
"We will liaise with affected residents should more proactive measures to control water consumption be required," Mr Heatley said.
"It would also be greatly appreciated if any water leakages are reported to council promptly through our Customer Service Centre on (02) 6757 3222, even after hours. You'd be surprised how much water is wasted through even the smallest leakages.
"As well as asking residents to do their bit, council will also be taking steps to be more water conscious whilst continuing to provide services and maintain facilities."
Over the last two years, rainfall across the northern half of New South Wales has been well below average with some areas within the Moree Plains Shire Council area receiving some of the lowest ever falls recorded.
This, combined with higher temperatures has resulted in record low inflows into some water storage facilities supplying local water utility and town water supplies in the region. The forecast for rainfall in the coming months looks equally uncertain.
While allocations for the Border Rivers have been announced by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the delivery of water has been restricted due to the ongoing drought.
General manager Lester Rodgers noted that the Moree Plains Shire is in a very fortunate position compared to some other council areas in the New England North West to have a secure town water supply for large parts of the shire.
"Council has also been committed to long-term investment in its water infrastructure to ensure the system is well maintained and reliable across the shire," he said.
"But in these dry times we should always be more careful with this resource.
"Council encourages all residents to be mindful of these extreme circumstances and be considerate of water consumption especially as the warmer months are quickly approaching."