THE ACT will provide water to Braidwood for six months, after the town’s supply dried up due to low inflows and bushfires in the region.
Braidwood moved into Stage 4 water restrictions on January 10.
The ACT Government and Icon Water have supported the request from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) to provide temporary water relief to the town.
Braidwood’s population is less than 2,000 people and the water support is not expected to have a significant impact on the ACT’s long-term water security, according to the ACT government.
The amount that would be provided to Braidwood over a six-month period is less than one day of supply for residents of Canberra and Queanbeyan.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the move showed Canberrans were willing to stand with the Canberra Region during this difficult time.
“Canberra is a generous community and I think it is a good thing we are able to provide short-term water relief to Braidwood to assist them through this difficult period,” says Mr Barr.
Water will be sourced on a commercial basis from Queanbeyan’s reticulation network and managed under the existing water supply arrangements between Icon Water and QPRC.
The temporary arrangements for an amount of between 250-300kL per day will be in place for up to six months as QPRC and the NSW Government develop longer-term solutions to the shortage.
“It is important that a long-term solution to this issue is identified,” says Mr Barr.
Icon Water managing director Ray Hezkial says both the ACT Government and Icon Water were keeping a close watch on the ACT’s water security but there had been higher-than-average consumption over the summer months.
“Major investments in our water storage capacity mean we do not require water restrictions yet,” says Mr Hezkial.
“However, we are seeing increased consumption patterns, particularly on days of record temperatures, and we are closely monitoring this along with our dam levels and predicted weather patterns.
“Should this continue, we will not hesitate to implement water restrictions if and when they are needed.”
The ACT’s Permanent Water Conservation Measures have been in place since 2010 and are similar to Level 1 water restrictions in other jurisdictions.