Extraordinary council meeting to consider stricter water restrictions

In focus: The potential to move to tighter water restrictions will be discussed at an extraordinary council meeting. Photo: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
In focus: The potential to move to tighter water restrictions will be discussed at an extraordinary council meeting. Photo: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Level 4 severe water restrictions are imminent if councillors support a recommendation at an extraordinary council meeting.

Severe water restrictions would come with implications for residents and businesses.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will have an extraordinary council meeting at 5.30pm on Wednesday, January 22 to discuss the potential to move to stricter water restrictions.

The recommendation proposes to implement level 4 severe water restrictions for residential use on January 28.

The second part of the recommendation proposes to delay implementation of level 4 water restrictions on commercial users until February 25, noting the potential significant impacts.

That would allow council staff time to engage with businesses about water saving measures to help minimise the economic impact of the restrictions.

A council report said since November 2019, the total combined water storage level had dropped to 39 per cent as at January 20.

It is proposed to move to level 4 severe water restrictions prior to the adopted trigger level being reached, the report said, in an effort to further reduce overall demand and extend the water availability from our current limited water storage.

The trigger for level 4 is 35 per cent.

The council report said while the area had experienced good rainfall recently, it would take further above average rainfall and sustained extraction from the Hastings River to replenish total combined storage levels above the 45 per cent needed to relax the level 4 severe water restrictions.

Hastings Parents for the Environment's Rachel Sheppard, Jake Wadsworth and Sarah Mollard sent an email to councillors ahead of the extraordinary council meeting.

"I'm writing to let you know that Port Macquarie-Hastings residents will attend this week's extraordinary council meeting because we want you to see that your community is seriously concerned about the climate emergency," the email said.

"We want you to acknowledge that climate change is driving the serious water situation we are facing."

Residents are welcome to attend the extraordinary council meeting.