Punters enjoy cooling off at the pool at the Falls Festival in North Byron Bay, Tuesday, 1 January, 2019. (AAP Image/Regi Varghese)
Punters enjoy cooling off at the pool at the Falls Festival in North Byron Bay, Tuesday, 1 January, 2019. (AAP Image/Regi Varghese)

While dam dries up, festival venue wants water exemption

TWEED'S main water source is diminishing and restrictions for residents appear eminent.

Despite this the administrators of the North Byron Parklands have asked for an exemption for an upcoming music festival.

A letter was sent to the council last month requesting the parklands be exempt from the Drought Water Restriction Policy for the Falls Festival from December 30 to January 2.

The letter was received by the council on October 22, a day after Clarrie Hall Dam dropped below 90 per cent capacity for just the sixth time since 2003.

The council's policy bans the sale of water outside of the region when the dam drops below 90 per cent.

Council documents indicate the dam will be at 77 per cent by the time the festival begins, just above the threshold for residential water restrictions.

The documents state the parklands can still source water from the Byron Shire Council, however it is believed to be a logistic challenge.

Council will vote on Thursday night to decide whether to give the parklands an exemption.

Councillor James Owen has stated ahead of the meeting he will not be supporting the parkland's request.

"We are looking at level one water restrictions barring any significant rain," Cr Owen said.

"I don't think it would be right or fair to the Tweed community to have their water utilised for a musical festival when it is so valuable.

"They would be paying twice the rate than usually charged but you can't put a price on our most precious resource."



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