By JENI FAULKNER
IF YOU thought the heatwave on the Coffs Coast was an early invitation for long beautiful summer days at the beach, then you may want to think again.
This recent warm-up is in fact a prelude to what could be a hot and harmful summer with high electricity bills, sun stroke and water restrictions.
The Mid North Coast Area Health Service has put out a warning to be careful of soaring temperatures and, from tomorrow, Coffs Harbour City Council will tighten the region's water supply from Level 2 to Level 4 water restrictions.
But despite this dry reality the water operation technical officer for the Coffs Harbour City Council, Neil Sutton, said it wasn't all bad news.
"About two years ago we had nearly a full year of restrictions," Mr Sutton said.
"But this time we have jumped from Level 2 to 4 because the consumption levels were not going up so we were able to hold off for a period of time."
The council's acting general manager, Stephen Sawtell, said the restrictions were necessary because of a lack of substantial rain and low flows in the Orara and Nymboida Rivers.
"Karangi Dam is currently just over 66 per cent capacity. Our current consumption rate is 17.9 megalitres a day, which is now over our current target rate of 17.1," Mr Sawtell said.
It is uncertain whether the Coffs Coast will go to Level 5 restrictions.