During a recent Council meeting, Council resolved for the Parkes Shire to move from level two to level one water restrictions, following increased capacity in the region's water supplies.

Under Level 1 Water restrictions, domestic users can water with soaker hoses, microsprays and drip systems before 10am and after 5pm on a daily basis. Hand-held hoses can be used at any time.

Parkes Shire Council's Director Infrastructure Andrew Francis said, "water conservation helps safeguard our long-term supply. To effectively manage water supply and security for our residents, Council implements restrictions on water usage under the Local Government Regulation, to ensure water supply is preserved in times of drought or other water scarcity. During the peak of the 2016-2019 drought period, Council applied Level 2 Water Restrictions to water users across the Shire to bring the level of restriction in line with other towns within the Lachlan Valley.

Secure water supplies are essential for communities to thrive. Being remote from natural water sources, Parkes’ water supply is managed and planned for in a sustainable way to ensure critical supply during times of drought while also being able to service key sectors that underpin our local economy such as mining, industry and agriculture. The Parkes water supply includes a network of eight groundwater bores, a connection to the Lachlan River, two surface reservoirs (Lake Endeavour and Lake Metcalfe) and an advanced Water Recycling Facility.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "it is this robust planning along with the support of our community to conserve water, that has seen us through the most recent drought under much lower restrictions than those of other regional townships."

Council is now in the process of further water security planning with the review of its Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy (IWCM) which was last developed in 2015. This plan saw a $100 million water infrastructure renewal program delivered from 2015-2020 including new water and sewage treatment plants and an advanced water recycling facility that distributes high quality recycled water throughout the town via a dedicated pipeline. This next review will examine each of the development and growth opportunities for the Shire and what will be required to service a growing community in a changing climate.

For more information about Council's Water Management and tips on how to conserve water at your property visit www.parkes.nsw.gov.au