UPDATED

Water restrictions removed for Weemelah and Mungindi down to Level Four water restrictions, Boggabilla continues to be monitored

UPDATE:

Moree Plains Shire Council has confirmed Mungindi's water restrictions will be returned to Level Four water restrictions from Wednesday, February 19.

Level Five water restrictions have been in place for Mungindi since January 8, 2020 but with recent heavy rainfall across the Moree Plains Shire, council has been evaluating water restrictions in place for Mungindi.

This reduction in water restrictions is based on:

  • Mungindi's potable town water supply has been sourced 100% from the artesian bore and has been treated at the Mungindi water treatment plant using recent infrastructure upgrades. The volumes of potable water being produced here have been sufficient to meet current water consumption demand at Mungindi on Level FIve water restrictions. With recent rainfall and less oppressive temperatures as we approach autumn, it is anticipated that the demand on water in Mungindi is stabilising.
  • The Mungindi weir pool is now at capacity. Prior to recent rainfalls, there was no alternative water source for Mungindi other than the artesian bore.
  • Whilst water is now available through the weir, Council is undertaking sampling to better understand the water quality from this source and how effectively it may be treated.
  • Council is awaiting advice from WaterNSW as to the likely flows from the Border Rivers system. Once an initial flush occurs from this source, it is anticipated that this will provide better quality water for Mungindi's potable town water supply than that currently available at the weir. It is Council's current intent to use these flows to supplement Mungindi's potable town water supply through a combination of artesian water and river water to shore up capacity to supply Mungindi's town water.

Over coming weeks and provided the flow is forthcoming, council's water team will be working through the operational requirements of adding river water back into Mungindi's potable water supply. At all times, the paramount concern will be ensuring the supply of quality potable water to Mungindi residents.

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Mayor Katrina Humphries noted that the reduction to Level Four water restrictions in Mungindi was a step in the right direction,

"We are really pleased that recent rainfall and flows through the river system will allow us to reduce water restrictions in Mungindi," Mrs Humphries said.

"Of course, I would love to see Mungindi without water restrictions at all, but we need to ensure that operationally we can manage this and at all times, provide potable water to our Mungindi community.

"With water in the weir and more water likely on its way, council now has options available to it to supplement the water supply in Mungindi. We just need to allow our water staff the time needed to ensure that water can be treated in the volumes needed.

"We will be continually updating the Mungindi community and hope to have a sliding scale of restriction removals."

Further details of these water restrictions can be found on Council's website www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au within its Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan.

EARLIER:

Friday, February 14

With recent heavy rainfall across the Moree Plains Shire and related river systems, council has been evaluating the water restrictions in place for Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah.

Such restrictions were imposed under council's Water Supply Schemes Drought Management Plan based on water consumption of the affected communities, rainfall and having regard to formal advice received from WaterNSW that there will be no further planned water releases to supply water to these towns.

Further water releases were not envisaged until sufficient rainfall allows the usual catchments to replenish their water supplies to allow for future water releases.

For Boggabilla, flows are anticipated for the Macintyre River in the area, and flows are also anticipated for the Barwon River for Mungindi in coming weeks.

Council will be regularly assessing the water supply at Boggabilla and Mungindi with a few to reducing and ultimately removing the restrictions currently in place (if practicable).

Once flows arrive, the inevitable flushing process of the parched river systems will take place before these flows can be used to supplement the water supply for Boggabilla and Mungindi.

An assessment has been undertaken of the Weemelah water supply and it has been determined that water restrictions for Weemelah are no longer required as of Friday, February 14.

Council will keep both the Boggabilla and Mungindi community regularly updated but they are committed to reducing the water restrictions at both these localities as soon as is practicable.