Level 1 water restrictions are now in place across the Clarence Valley Council local government area.
Level 1 water restrictions are now in place across the Clarence Valley Council local government area. Emma Channon

Water restrictions kick in across Clarence Valley

THE Clarence Valley has brought up an unwanted record this week, with Level 1 water restrictions introduced on Monday for the first time since the opening of the Shannon Creek Dam in 2009.

The 30,000 megalitre Shannon Creek Dam is now at 82 per cent, with consumption at 21.6ML a day.

Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said the trigger for introducing Level 1 restrictions is when the Nymboida River flow drops below 225ML a day and Shannon Creek reaches 80 per cent capacity.

The river has been below 225ML per day for several months and Mr Lindsay said with no significant rainfall forecast the current projection is that Shannon Creek Dam will reach the 80 per cent capacity level somewhere between December 26 and 31.

"Due to the Christmas period, we wanted to give sufficient time to publicise water restrictions commencing, as such Level 1 water restrictions will commence on Monday, December 16," Mr Lindsay said.

With the Christmas period fast approaching, Mr Lindsay said he was calling on all residents to be water conscious.

"Whilst there are no restrictions on commercial or industrial use of water we are asking all businesses to think carefully about all non essential water usage. It's in everyone's best interest to think about water consumption and make every drop count," Mr Lindsay said.

The water restrictions come as much of Australia braces for a heatwave that is expected to sweep through the country this week.

Temperatures are predicted to hit 39C on Saturday and 38C on Sunday in Grafton, while Yamba will fare slightly better with tops of 28C and 29C over the weekend.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Sarah Scully said an extremely hot air mass that had built up over Western Australia last week was being dragged across the country, and with it record-breaking temperatures.

"With regards to heatwave conditions it's important for people to stay in the shade, stay indoors where there's airconditioning and stay hydrated," Ms Scully said.

"We're expecting fire dangers to peak for southeastern Australia on Friday, and that's when those really high temperatures are expected to soar, and they're coinciding with strong winds.

"On Saturday those extreme fire dangers are expected to push into NSW as temps again soar and winds increase."

Water restrictions:

• No outside garden watering between 9am and 4pm

• No sprinklers or unattended hoses

• Water efficient drip or spray systems - 15 minutes every two days*

• Hand held hoses - one hour every two days*

• No restriction on commercial/industrial use

*If your house address is an even number you can water on even numbered days. If your house address is an odd number you can water on odd numbered days