Dubbo Regional Council to to turn off taps at 11 parks, open spaces

TAPS OFF: Dubbo Regional Council chief executive officer Michael McMahon said "the water crisis we face as a community is rapidly becoming extreme" when announcing 11 sites in Dubbo and Wellington will have to go without water. Photo: File
TAPS OFF: Dubbo Regional Council chief executive officer Michael McMahon said "the water crisis we face as a community is rapidly becoming extreme" when announcing 11 sites in Dubbo and Wellington will have to go without water. Photo: File

Eleven parks and open spaces belonging to Dubbo Regional Council will be sacrificed to the drought because of a water crisis which is "rapidly becoming extreme".

The council has announced it is turning off the tap at sites in Dubbo and Wellington as part of its "responsibility to save water".

They are Delroy West, Southlakes South, Elizabeth Park Outer, Theresa Maliphant Park, Spears Drive Park, Bennett's Park, Lions Park West Park, South Dubbo Park and Wambool Park in Dubbo, and Teamsters Park and Apex Park in Wellington.

The council has been preparing its communities for the eventuality of "browner and drier" open spaces since they learned of the possibility of Burrendong Dam running dry by mid-2020.

"It will be a difficult thing for some people to see, however the water crisis we face as a community is rapidly becoming extreme," the council's chief executive officer Michael McMahon said.

"This is a necessary water-saving measure for council to take.

READ ALSO:

  • Roadworks sign didn't slow down this p-plater
  • The region's 47 public schools with damaged asbestos
  • Don't be shy, apply for a government grants says charity manager

"Just like our community messaging is starting to ask residents to monitor their water meters and get an understanding of their own water usage and how they too can help by taking steps to reduce the pressure on the system, council has effectively done the same.

"Council will also continually review watering times, frequency and necessity for water use across all of our operations, and if and when required, scale our water usage to stay below water demand and targets."

Mr McMahon said the council was evaluating other methods of obtaining water for operational use to ease pressure on bore and river water, including the potential accessing of non-potable water, known as grey water, and recycled water for parks and playing fields, "particularly if the region was required to move into higher water restrictions over time".

Last week he told Dubbo residents they should expect an increase in the current level two water restrictions by year's end.

About 70 per cent of Dubbo's water comes from the dam and 30 per cent from bores. The state government has given $30 million to the council to expand its bore field.

The council is directing residents to its online water-saving resources and advising that in the average home 25 to 50 per cent of water is used outdoors.