Dam is good, creeks a worry

By LUIS FELIU

AS the drought bites deeper throughout NSW, Tweed farmers are being told to reduce their use of water with bans and limits on pumping placed on catchment waterways.

But Tweed's urban residents won't be left high and dry - the shire's water supply is at near-full capacity and water restrictions for households are still a long way off, unlike two years ago when residents were forced to cut down on their reticulated water use.

Tweed Shire Council's acting water manager Andrew Grant said Clarrie Hall Dam this week was at 93 per cent capacity with the water level about a metre below the weir.

"We are fairly comfortable with water supply at the moment but our usage is up a fair bit from last year," Mr Grant said.

Restrictions were introduced late in 2002 when the dam level was down to 35 per cent.

"Though we've had a dry year we've had enough rain in the catchment to keep the dam full and the river flowing," Mr Grant said.

Council, he said, was currently undertaking a two-year integrated water cycle planning process to determine the shire's water-supply needs for the next 50 years.

The long-term strategy, he said, would focus on what Council should be doing as far as water-management, looking at issues such as recycling, new infrastructure such as re-use systems in new subdivisions or incentives for using rainwater tanks.

Meanwhile, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR) this week announced suspension of pumping from seven creeks in the Tweed catchment: Hopping Dicks, Burringbar, Cudgera, Duroby, Piggabeen, Cobaki and Bilambil.

Pumping has also been restricted to a maximum of six hours a day between 4pm and 10am for North and South Pumpenbil Creeks, Tyalgum Creek, Brays Creek, Oxley River, Tweed River, Rous River and Crystal Creek.



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