Rural residents can now apply for free water from standpipe

Dubbo Regional Council hopes the free water access will help residents during the drought. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Dubbo Regional Council hopes the free water access will help residents during the drought. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Drought-affected residents across the local government areas will be granted free access to water.

Dubbo Regional Council deputy mayor Anne Jones raised the proposition as a matter of urgency last month. She called for farmers to be give free access to the standpipe, to save them “hundreds and hundreds of dollars”.

“Just think about stock that doesn’t have any food, now think about stock that doesn’t have any water. They can survive without food for a certain time but they definitely can’t survive without water. A cow drinks 80 litres of water a day,” Cr Jones said at the time.

Council is now taking applications for the water access from rural residents who live outside the supplied water service area.

For the year-to-date there has been 74 millimetres of rain in Dubbo, as recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology. January has been the wettest month of the year with 74 millimetres.

Mayor Ben Shields said the region was experiencing the worst drought in decades. He said if council could make it a little bit easier for farmers it should.

“It is very simple for our rural customers to apply, simply download the application form from our website, bring your proof of residency to our customer service desk and pay a refundable deposit for the Drought Relief Water key,” he said.

“Eligible rural customers can access up to 10,000 litres of water per application from the standpipe.

Cr Jones said she had seen free access to the standpipe given four or five times during her 23 years as a councillor.

For terms and conditions, eligibly or to download the application forms for the free standpipe access, rural customers can visit council’s website at www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au.