At least one of Korumburra’s reservoirs doesn’t look anywhere near empty but the local water authority is sufficiently concerned about the state of the system to declare Stage 2 restrictions. Among other provisions, gardens may only be watered for two hours in the morning and again in the evening.
SENIOR State MPs have picked a fight with each other over the state of Korumburra’s water supply and inevitably the Wonthaggi desalination plant has been dragged into the debate. Overnight, the State Water Minister Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister John Lenders have been trading blows, Mr Lenders accusing the State Government of being bloody-minded about turning on the desal plant to back up Korumbura. The Water Minister rejecting his comments as scaremongering, saying the drawdown at Korumburra was typical of a normal year and that the system usually recovered quickly. Meanwhile, locally South Gippsland Water has rejected local claims that the system is leaking or that there has been a major a loss of water.
Restrictions in force
STAGE 2 Water Restrictions apply to South Gippsland Water’s customers of Korumburra and the Coalition Creek Water Supply System as of midnight tonight (February 19).
Dry weather conditions in late 2012 and the early part of 2013 have meant that storages are now at 48 per cent (as at Friday, February 15, 2013).
Low storage levels and a continued forecast for warm dry weather conditions have led to higher level water restrictions being activated. The corporation warns that if this weather pattern continues, Stage 3 Water Restrictions can be expected to be activated for Korumburra in the coming weeks.
South Gippsland Water’s managing director, Philippe du Plessis said all customers of Korumburra and the Coalition Creek Water Supply System are urged to activate water conservation practices.
“The corporation is closely monitoring storage levels and will activate higher level restrictions as required.
“Korumburra’s water supply catchment areas are relatively small and operate on an annual cycle (empty over summer, refill during winter). “The township needs to conserve water supplies until such time that autumn/winter rains can replenish storages.”
The full schedule of staged water restrictions and definitions are available on the South Gippsland Water website www.sgwater.com.au under the ‘water’ tab or contact South Gippsland Water’s Customer Service Team on 1300 851 636.
The details below give an overview of the key areas of Stage 2 Water Restrictions:
* Gardens and lawns : Watering of lawns is banned. Watering systems can only be used to water gardens between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm on alternate days*. Hand-held hoses with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or watering can may be used at any time.
* Sporting grounds: Some sporting grounds can be watered; Cricket wicket, running track, tennis court, lawn bowls, croquet green and golf green and tee (but not fairways or approaches), using a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, bucket or watering can at any time. A watering system can only be used on alternate days* between the hours of 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm. Particular sporting grounds can be watered as required, but only in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan. Contact South Gippsland Water for more information.
* Paving, concrete and other hard surfaces: Hosing is banned except for construction purposes or in an emergency; or for a health or safety hazard.
* Vehicles: Vehicles may be washed using a high pressure cleaning device, or if not available a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, bucket or watering can; or at a water efficient commercial car wash.
* Pools and spas: To fill or top up a new or existing pool or spa with a capacity 2000 litres or less, a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a watering can or a bucket, between the hours of 6am and 8am or 6pm and 8pm may be used. An automatic water top-up device can be used at any time. Pools and spas of greater than 2000 litres capacity must not be filled unless a Water Conservation Plan has been submitted to South Gippsland Water and approved.
* Alternate days means odd numbered houses can water on odd dates of the month and even numbered houses can water on even numbered dates. Both odd and even numbered houses can water on the 31st of the month. Where there is no house number the property is considered an even numbered house.
Additional water restriction areas include public gardens and lawns, ponds, lakes, fountains, water features, pools, spas, tanks, water tankers, commercial car washes, food transport vehicles, commercial production of plants and/or animals.
Exemptions may be applied for the watering of public sporting grounds.