Drought: Plea for help as up to 100 households are running out of water

MAIN EVENT: Feed4Farmers members Natalie Palazzi and Rebecca Childs are hoping for a big response to the drought fundraiser at Bletchington Public School on Sunday August 26. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0815jkfeed4farm2
MAIN EVENT: Feed4Farmers members Natalie Palazzi and Rebecca Childs are hoping for a big response to the drought fundraiser at Bletchington Public School on Sunday August 26. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0815jkfeed4farm2

Up to 100 farm families in the Orange region are running out of household water due to the drought.

It has sparked a plea by the Orange-based Feed4Farmers drought relief group for tankers capable of carrying drinking water to provide relief.

Feed4Farmers committee member Karlie Irwin said they had been told up to 100 households in the severely hit area between Cumnock and Yeoval were in desperate need of water.

Mrs Irwin said tankers delivered 5000 litres of water to six of the eight worst-affected households on Wednesday but more tankers were urgently needed for the region.

“Basically it’s their tanks, the bore water has run dry,” she said.

“They have very little or next to no drinking water. The can’t shower, they can’t wash, they can’t wash up.

“Parents are bringing their kids into town one or two times a week for showers.

“It’s right on our doorstep.”

Mrs Irwin said it cost from $700 a time to get a tanker of water to the properties.

“They are living without water and having to pay to transport water out to their properties,” she said.

“If we could get 5000 litres per family to the worst-affected that have none, it would be sustainable.”

Mrs Irwin said the tankers needed to be capable of delivering drinking water.

“The problem is there is not a lot of really clean water tankers,” she said.

She said Coates Hire this week donated three tankers of water to help farmers in a different area close to Orange.

NSW Farmers Orange branch chair Bruce Reynolds said the area south of Wellington from Mullion Creek to Cumnock and Yeoval was one of the hardest-hit drought areas in the whole state.

He said many of the farm dams were low on water.

“That’s the area doing it tough,” he said.

“I would expect some people are needing water supplies.”

Feed4Farmers has also been organising hay for farmers from its Glenroi base.

Its next big project is a major drought-relief fundraiser at the Bletchington Public School on Sunday August 26.

Mrs Irwin said the Fair Dinkum Farmer Fundraiser would run from 10am-3pm.

“It is going to be one of the biggest events we’ve had in Orange for some time,” she said.

There will be raffles, auctions, a petting zoo, a jumping castle, a fire truck and show cars on display, live music and will feature Elliot the Rocking Dinosaur and Paw Patrol.

She said they had booked about 20 stalls including food and coffee vans.

Mrs Irwin said stallholders’ site fees plus 10-30 per cent of their takings would be donated to drought relief.