Emergency water funding provided to Warrumbungle Shire

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair visited Coonabarabran on Wednesday, July 11. Photo: File.
Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair visited Coonabarabran on Wednesday, July 11. Photo: File.

After succumbing to severe water restrictions earlier this year the Warrumbungle Shire Council has been provided with $1.7 million in funding for emergency water works.

The town of Coonabarabran has been on level six water restrictions since March 2018, with Timor Dam below 23 per cent, its lowest capacity since its construction in 1964.

The funding will also be used to connect six bores to the water supply over the next three months and once connected it is hoped the town will be in a more sustainable position and will be less reliant on the flow from Castlereagh River.

Read more on the NSW drought:

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Coonabarabran Airport recorded just 38.4 millimetres of rain between April to June.

Just 2mm of rain has fallen during the first 11 days of July.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair visited Coonabarabran on Wednesday, July 11, to inspect emergency water measures being put in place to address the threat of water shortages in the region.

The town in the state’s North West, which has around 2000 residents, has the most severe water restrictions in the state.

“To stand in the dry Timor Dam is pretty confronting. The community has been working together to get through this difficult period and local MP Kevin Humphries has led the charge for additional help – which is why the NSW Government has provided the Warrumbungle Shire Council with $1.7 million in funding for emergency water works,” Mr Blair said.

“Coonabarabran is experiencing the worst effects of drought and facing serious water shortages with the town’s water supply at critically low levels.

“Timor Dam is below 23 per cent and without significant rainfall, this will drop further over the coming weeks.”

Read more on the NSW towns running out of water:

Mr Blair said drought doesn’t just affect the land, it flows right through the heart of communities and unfortunately Coonabarabran is facing some of the most severe effects.

“The emergency funding has allowed for the installation of ‘dead storage pumping’ equipment, emergency bores to access groundwater and water carting infrastructure,” he said.

In addition to the financial assistance, the NSW Department of Industry will continue to work closely with the local council to ensure the delivery of essential water services to meet the town’s needs.