No rain in sight and we're using more water than ever
WE ARE on track for the driest January on record and Northern Rivers residents are churning through more water than ever.
As the drought bites, water consumption in the region has risen, with figures supplied from Rous County Council revealing the weekly consumption for January 2019 to date is 20 per cent higher than the average of the previous four years.
Figures further revealed the weekly consumption in January is typically 25 per cent higher than June.
Although the region's main water source, Rocky Creek Dam has dropped from 88 per cent to 82 per cent in the past two weeks, Rous County Council chairman Keith Williams said water restrictions would not be on the horizon for all town water supplies for Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and some mid Richmond Valley towns, until dam levels fell below 60 per cent.
"We are definitely using more water than normal ... because it's so hot and dry people are using more than expected," Mr Williams said.
"We are using about 2 per cent of Rocky Creek Dam per week in this hot weather, which is concerning, but it's also not surprising given how dry it is now.
"We will have enough water for quite a while before we introduce restrictions and once that demand slows, we will have even more."
He said Rous County Council was working on water use reduction campaigns and whole demand management strategies were being negotiated with all councils.
"Overall we'd like to see household daily litres down to 160 from the current 180 per person, per day," he said.
"We are really conscious of our current water demand and what we can supply and we are looking to introduce those strategy's that will enable us to have water available whenever we need it. Until then we need to be sensible about how we use it."
Level two water restrictions remain in place for Kyogle and Casino and surrounding areas.