Council changes water restriction trigger point
Central Coast Council has decided it will introduce Level 1 water restrictions after Mangrove Creek Dam storage levels drop to 50 per cent.
Previously restrictions came into force when levels reached 42 per cent.
Mayor Cr Jane Smith said the move was part of Council's commitment to ensure water security for the region, which will include a review of its integrated Water Resources Plan.
"We are sitting at 57 per cent at the moment, so there is no issue but as the region's water authority we need to manage our water wisely all the time," Cr Smith said.
"We need to be aware of possible impacts on our water supply including climate change and the possible approval of the Wallarah 2 coalmine.
"I find that people have instinctively become better at managing their water use since the Millennium Drought (of 2000) on an individual household basis."
Cr Smith urged residents to continue to be water wise, with changes to the criteria for setting water restriction in the region set to be changed.
Council will review the Central Coast's long term water demand and supply, look at risk mitigation opportunities and re-evaluate its drought management system.
It will also increase its public awareness campaigns to ensure that water continues to be used as efficiently as possible.
A staff report to the Council said the region had entered current drought conditions at about 60 per cent capacity, as opposed to about 45 per cent prior to Millennium Drought.
A number of improvements made to the system since 2000 included: a transfer main between Hunter Water and the Central Coast; a major link between the Mardi Dam and Mangrove Creek Dam including a new Wyong River pump station and fishway and the establishment of a number of small groundwater sources.
"Since the Millennium Drought, increased environmental flow requirements for Wyong River have reduced Council's access to water during low to medium stream flows," the report said.
"To address this, the Mardi Mangrove Link project included a larger pump station on Wyong River to extract more water during wet periods for storage in Mangrove Creek Dam.
"A new low flow fishway was also installed on the Wyong Weir to improve fish passage.
"This means that, on average, more water can be harvested for the water supply which is done in a more environmentally sustainable manner."
The Council's water restriction rules and guidelines were last reviewed in 2011 following the completion of the Mardi to Mangrove Link project and partial storage recovery after the millennium drought.
Agenda item 3.4, 11 Feb 2019
Central Coast Council Ordinary Meeting
Media statement, 12 Jan 2019
Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith