Dam level is falling as dry days roll on

Ben Chifley Dam at The Lagoon. Photos: BATHURST REGIONAL COUNCIL
Ben Chifley Dam at The Lagoon. Photos: BATHURST REGIONAL COUNCIL

BATHURST’S cold, dry winter has seen the water level at the region’s major storage fall almost 20 per cent since the start of the year.

Ben Chifley Dam was sitting at 83.9 per cent capacity when Bathurst Regional Council did its last reading on Tuesday, July 11.

That’s a dramatic turn-around since this time last year when the dam was full to overflowing, and the dam was still at capacity at the start of 2017.

But winter has come with a near-record run of dry weather that has seen the water level at the dam in a downward spiral.

Less than 10mm of rain has been recorded across the region since the start of June, one of the longest dry spells in recent memory.

According to the council figures, consumption of filtered water across the region is averaging 12.5 megalitres a day – the equivalent of five Olympic swimming pools – while treated water returned to the Macquarie River is averaging 8.3 megalitres a day.

An amber alert for blue green algae is currently in place at the dam, meaning algae may be multiplying in numbers.

However, the dam remains open for all water-related recreational activities.

Winburndale Dam is currently sitting at 84 per cent capacity.