As Bathurst braces itself for another potentially dry winter, one councillor is putting forward a notice of motion to encourage smarter water management strategies in the region.
Bathurst Regional Council will be voting on a notice of motion from councillor John Fry that will call for a series of initiatives to be put in place to help Bathurst's local government area [LGA] become a 'water smart region.'
Cr Fry says water is a precious and limited commodity, and that there needs to be more awareness raised in the Bathurst community in regards to water management.
"A number of creeks and rivers around the Bathurst region have stopped flowing, and the portion of the Macquarie River near the Gordon Edgell Bridge is about an inch deep," he said.
"Over the decades, I feel we've been wasting a fair amount of water as a community and it's important that people become more conscious of their water usage as we face another dry winter."
Although Bathurst has been under level three water restrictions since November last year, the water level at Ben Chifley Dam has continued to fall.
The latest recording [April 9] put the dam level at 44.9 per cent.
In comparison, the dam level was at 57.6 per cent on November 27 last year, the day after water restrictions came into effect.
Cr Fry said the effects of low dam storage levels are being felt statewide.
"Even though coastal NSW has received favourable rainfall recently, average statewide storage levels are currently below 25 per cent," he said.
"The Lower Darling catchment is at one per cent, Lake Keepit near Gunnedah is at two per cent and Burrendong Dam is at about seven per cent."
"With an El Nino weather cycle moving across, it's very likely that we'll be facing another dry winter."
Through this notice of motion, Cr Fry is hoping to sow the seeds for a more sustainable approach to the future of water management in Bathurst.
"We need to consider water smart options for future planning and development in the Bathurst region," he said.
"Bathurst uses around eight megalitres of treated water a day, and about 80 per cent of that is shower and bath water, which can be reused through a number of methods."
"If more homeowners harvested water off their roofs and invested in rainwater tanks, not only would it safeguard the town's water supply but it would lower water costs for both residents and the council."
Council will vote on Cr Fry's notice of motion at this Wednesday's ordinary council meeting.