Fairbairn Dam has fallen to its lowest level in history at just 10.9 per cent capacity.
Fairbairn Dam has fallen to its lowest level in history at just 10.9 per cent capacity.

Why water restrictions aren’t tighter in Emerald

DESPITE Fairbairn Dam reaching a low of 10.9 per cent capacity, Emerald and surrounds have continued to stay at level 1 water restrictions.

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said although the dam had fallen below 12 per cent – which is the trigger to move to level 2 – nothing will change until the new year.

“Under our current Water Restrictions Procedure, the trigger to move Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff to level 2 water restrictions is when the water storage level at Fairbairn Dam falls below 12 per cent,” he said.

“However, we are currently undertaking a review of our trigger levels for water restrictions.”

Mr Hayes said the water storage level is only one of the factors taken into account when altering water restriction levels.

“Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff have excelled at water conservation to date and have used less water than the current level 1 water restriction target,” he said.

“We have also achieved a 35 per cent saving in our parks and gardens through a prioritised irrigation program.

“As such, we are considering delaying the implementation of level 2 water restrictions in Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff until early 2020.

“We are all hoping for rain, but we will have to see what the season brings.”


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