Fear's Western NSW town may run out of water

The tiny town of Byrock in the Bourke Shire could be left without water because of the low rainfall the area has received in 2017.

 Bourke Shire Council’s general manager Ross Earl. Photo: Fairfax Media

Bourke Shire Council’s general manager Ross Earl. Photo: Fairfax Media

Bourke Shire Council’s general manager Ross Earl told the Western Magazine and written in a weekly bulletin that Byrock will run out of water at the end of September unless there is significant rainfall.

The council has written to Water Minister Niall Blair seeking approval for funding to enable the commencement of carting water as soon as it becomes necessary.

Mr Earl said Mr Blair and the NSW Office of Water have previously been able to assist.

“To ensure that arrangements are in place to be able to commence carting of water, council has written to the Minister for Water, Niall Blair, seeking approval for the funding to enable the commencement of carting as soon as it becomes necessary,” Mr Earl said.

“The Minister has in previous years provided approval for 12-month periods and a similar approval has been requested this time. The co-operation and assistance from the NSW Office of Water has in the past been excellent as they recognise the problems faced by a number of village communities in the west of the state.

“Byrock water supply is an all ground water catchment and totally dependent on rainfall with other villages supplies being provided by bores.”

A spokeswoman from Mr Blair’s office said the Department of Primary Industries has been in touch with the council to ensure water carting to Byrock is able to start if and when required.

“The council will be entitled to apply for drought and emergency funding to cover a significant portion of the costs associated with this activity,” she said.

“The unusually dry winter has created a number of challenges for producers across the state and in and around Bourke in particular.”

“We encourage landholders to visit the DPI's Rural Assistance Authority website to see which support measures they may be eligible for and to make contact sooner, rather than later, if they think they might require some assistance.

“There are a number of loans and other assistance measures available to suit a range of circumstances.”