Anna Bay, Tomago and Grahamstown water storages feel the summer heat says Hunter Water

The Anna Bay sandbeds water supply has fallen to almost half its capacity and the Tomago sandbeds have dipped to two-thirds as continued dry weather grips the region.

Hunter Water’s latest figures put the storages at 57.7 per cent and 66.5 per cent respectively while Grahamstown Dam has eased to 74.9 per cent. With Chichester Dam down to 48.2 per cent, the Lower Hunter sits at 70.3 per cent capacity.

While the situation isn’t desperate there could be water restrictions in place soon.

SLOWING THE FLOW: Watering will only be allowed with trigger nozzles between 4pm and 10am, three days a week, if Stage One restrictions are introduced.

SLOWING THE FLOW: Watering will only be allowed with trigger nozzles between 4pm and 10am, three days a week, if Stage One restrictions are introduced.

“It doesn’t sound that bad but with this hot, dry weather, it doesn’t take much for storages to dry up,” Hunter Water managing director Jim Bentley said.

“If we could all be a little more careful in the meantime it will help conserve water.”

While Capetown, South Africa, has begun water rationing, Mr Bentley said the Lower Hunter was nowhere near so bad.

“There’s certainly nothing to panic about,” he said.

“We’re nothing like Capetown but we’re asking people to work with us, to not water their lawns in the middle of the day, so we don’t have to build our way out of trouble.”  

But without rain soon, Hunter Water will have to consider water restrictions.

“Initially, if it doesn’t rain in the next month or two, we’ll have to tighten our belts,” Mr Bentley said.

Stage One restrictions won’t be triggered until the combined  storages fall to 60 per cent. Under the restrictions, there’s no sprinklers at any time. Watering is only allowed with a handheld hose with a trigger nozzle or a drip irrigation system between 4pm and 10am, but only on three days a week.