BATHURST Regional Council is adamant it has enough water to go around as the city’s residential boom continues even as the dam goes down.
Council’s recent approval of a 312-lot subdivision at Kelso came just weeks after the city was placed on level three water restrictions.
But council general manager David Sherley says the city’s water supply is able to cater for the growing population – and Bathurstians’ water use has, surprisingly, remained consistent over time.
“The water storage in Chifley Dam is adequate for the current and future population growth,” Mr Sherley said.
“The dam wall was raised in 2001, which approximately doubled the capacity of the dam at the time. At the same time, ‘user pays’ for water consumption was introduced.
“As a result, average consumption in Bathurst has remained approximately static over time.”
In 2008, Mr Sherley said, the average consumption in Bathurst was 19 million litres per day and in 2018 it was actually less – 17.5 million litres per day.
“An ongoing Water Wise campaign and user pays are probable factors in the average consumption falling with rising population,” he said.
The introduction of water restrictions in late November – which limit home-owners to small periods of lawn and garden watering every two days – has prompted some to question whether the Chifley Dam wall should be raised again.
Mr Sherley said it was a consideration for council.
“Council continues to explore other water supply options, which includes further raising of the dam wall and a pipeline from Chifley Dam to the water works,” he said.
“Council is also finalising tenders for the Winburndale Dam wall strengthening project.
“This has an estimated cost of $9 to $10 million, to which the State Government has committed $2.25 million.
“This will help ensure the future water supply for the Bathurst region.”
The 312-lot subdivision approved by council at Kelso will be built by a developer on a 32.8ha tract of land to the north of the Bathurst Supa Centre and bounded by Limekilns Road to the north, Ashworth Road to the south-west, residential dwellings to the north-west and agricultural grazing land to the east.