The NSW city of Orange’s combined water storage capacity has hit 80% for the first time in nearly four years – triggering a new phase of water saving standards.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said recent rain has pushed the combined water storage up by 4.56% in a week, taking the total to 80% at about 3pm today.
He said he was thrilled to see the trigger point reached once again after the 2019/2020 drought.
“In October last year, Council adopted a set of water saving standards we must all aim to maintain, when we hit 80 per cent storage,” Mayor Kidd said.
“Notionally there is not much difference between Level Two Water Restrictions for Orange residents and ‘Permanent Water Savings Standards’, which replaced the traditional Level One Restrictions.
“The standards are about the change in mind-set and attitudes about water. Even when our dams are full we want to be sensible with our water use.”
He said that under the permanent water saving standards, there is no Level One Water Restrictions. Permanent water saving standards operate using the same criteria as the current Level Two Water Restrictions. With the only exception being there is no time restrictions on car washing under permanent water saving standards.
Orange City Council’s Infrastructure Committee Chair, Jeff Whitton said Orange residents had been living with Level Two Restrictions, or higher, since August 2010.
“We as a community have been so respectful and conservative about water use for years. We set the standard for the rest of the state. For that, we should all be proud,” he said.
“These ‘Permanent Water Savings Standards” are more about maintaining a common-sense approach to our water use.”
In the week up to today, Orange residents used 133 litres of water, per person, per day. In June 2017, the average water use per person, per day was 178 litres. In 2018, it was 170 litres and in 2019 it was 146 litres per person, per day.
Towards the end of the drought in June 2020, Orange residents used 131 litres per person, per day.
“This proves Orange residents set the standard when it comes to water savings,” Cr Whitton said.
Permanent Water Savings Standards will be in place unless the water storage level drops to 70%, at which point the city would enter Level Two Restrictions.