With the last significant rainfall in the Shoalhaven catchment occurring in June, the natural flows in the Shoalhaven River have dropped to below 90 megalitres per day and water restrictions may be necessary in the next month. The previous water restrictions were removed in December 2018 following significant rainfall and with regular falls since that time, there has been no need to impose restrictions. This is despite the drought conditions being experienced in other parts of NSW. Water restrictions are imposed in line with the Shoalhaven Drought Management Plan and are triggered by the first release of water from the backup storage at Danjera Dam. This first release occurs when Council’s off-stream storage drops to 60% capacity, it currently sits at 87%.
The Acting Director of Shoalhaven Water Mr Robert Horner said, “the total combined Shoalhaven dam storage level is at 85% of capacity and the outlook for rain in the near future is not strong. We are therefore preparing for water restrictions from mid-September on the basis that we receive no significant rainfall beforehand.” Mr Horner said, “the Shoalhaven River, through releases from Tallowa Dam, is the city’s main normal water source and pumping has ceased from the river at this time and the forecast is signalling further dry conditions”.
The aim of water restrictions is to balance between trying to prolong the amount of water in the dams while still allowing the community to use water how they need it “ he said.
Shoalhaven Water encourages the community to stay up to date on the latest water situation. Details can be found on the Shoalhaven Water website or by calling the information line 1300 662 246.