Tenterfield Shire Council to consider easing water restrictions

GLORIOUS RAIN: Recent rain has increased the water supply in Tenterfield Dam to 60 per cent.
GLORIOUS RAIN: Recent rain has increased the water supply in Tenterfield Dam to 60 per cent.

Following this recent rain, the level of the Tenterfield Dam this morning measured 60 per cent.

The black swans and pelicans are back, along with an increase in ducks and water hens, which is a great indication that the ash levels have dropped and the purity of the dam water is returning.

Council, at the February 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting at Legume, will consider a recommendation that the current 4.7 Water Restriction for Tenterfield be eased and ultimately, council will consider a complete re-write of the Drought Management Plan to ensure that the experience gained in the past two years is reflected in the introduction of future water restrictions.

Introduced in November, the Level 4.7 restrictions banned the use of automatic stock troughs from mains water, along with the daily half-hour irrigation of domestic gardens by hose or watering system allowed under 4.5 restrictions.

In the meantime, the council is working with Water NSW to establish a dam on the Mole River. Discussions to commence works for the feasibility study for this new dam will take place early next month.

"With the commissioning of a new water treatment plant in 2022, the community should be assured that even if rainfall levels decrease in the future, Tenterfield will have a secure, potable, water supply," Mayor Peter Petty said.

"Our community should also be proud of the work that our council has achieved by being at the forefront of emergency water works and now issues with silt and ash runoff that many councils throughout NSW and Victoria are having to deal with.

"Our council has done the work and our experiences are being used as a benchmark for many of these councils."

However, Cr Petty said he was mindful that not all areas of the shire have received these good rains with many dams and creeks still dry.

"It will take much more rainfall to break this drought and give our rural residents the confidence to restock and turn their lives, and the life of this community, around," he said.