The impact of the continued dry weather across NSW is being felt locally with Kempsey Shire Council forced to implement Level One water restrictions, effective immediately.
Council's general manager Craig Milburn said the restrictions were necessary to help safeguard water resources after an extended dry spell.
"We've been facing water restrictions for the past 12 months and with only minimal amounts of rainfall forecast for coming weeks, we've had to take immediate action to conserve water locally," Mr Milburn said.
Level One restrictions are now a standardised level across all of the Mid North Coast councils. They were previously called Level 3 in the Kempsey Shire and aim to create an immediate impact on water consumption without compromising lifestyles.
Manager Water and Sewer, Wes Trotter, said the Level One restrictions will apply predominately to households and public areas.
"The Kempsey water cycle is reliant upon the flow of the Macleay River which is impacted by rainfall in the upper Macleay catchment, the area around Armidale and Walcha," Mr Trotter said.
"From today, residents are asked to adhere to the restrictions by reducing their outdoor water usage and lowering their overall water consumption until substantial rainfall replenishes river levels and water supplies."
Under Level One restrictions, residents can water outside using hand-held hoses, for one hour every second day, between 4pm and 9am only. Micro-spray water systems may only be used for 15 minutes as part of the one-hour allocation.
Houses with an even number can water on the even days of the month, while houses with odd numbers water on the odd days of the month. There's no watering at all on the 31st day of any month. This includes topping up home pools.
In addition, residents are advised to use buckets and trigger hose rinsing for washing cars and boats. If possible, always wash vehicles and flush boat motor engines on grassed areas.
Outdoor cleaning of windows, walls, roofs and gutters should all be undertaken using buckets only.
While it is not possible to predict the length of time the restrictions will be in place, council will continue to monitor water levels and will keep the community up to date with any changes.
"Council has a range of legislated enforcement measures available in this instance but we're really appealing to the community to take responsibility and do their part to conserve our water," Mr Milburn said.
For more information on the restrictions visit: www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/restrictions
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