Parkes Shire Council has resolved to introduce a new standpipe usage scheme in an effort to maintain sustainable water supplies for the Shire.

Since August 2018, drought-affected rural residents have been eligible for free standpipe water. Whilst the program has been well received across the Shire, the continued extreme dry weather and increased demand has significantly impacted the current reservoir levels. This has compromised supply, not only to our townships but also our neighbouring Local Government Areas.

As a result, Council have reviewed its initial drought response provisions. Commencing Tuesday 4 February 2020, standpipe water will be without charge for up to 25kL per week to approved farming enterprises. Any additional approved farming enterprises usage over 25kL /week will be charged at a reduced rate of $3.50 per kilolitre.

Parkes Shire General Manager Kent Boyd said, "We have just experienced the driest two years on record. With those extreme conditions in mind, Council's aim is to continue to provide farming enterprises with some of the basic water needs, while ensuring we safeguard our supply."

"While it may not meet all the needs, we are limited by the capacity of the infrastructure and supply sources."

Under the new scheme, all standpipe users must reapply for standpipe access. Existing standpipe cards can be reauthorised by completing a new application form by 4 February 2020. Existing standpipe cards that have not been reauthorised by this date will be deactivated.

New users can apply for standpipe access through Council, subject to eligibility, which will incur a $20 card activation fee.

A new process for acquiring free water through water carters has also been introduced to ensure transparency.

To apply for standpipe access or to reauthorise your existing standpipe card, download a Standpipe Application Form here.

For more information about the new Parkes Shire Standpipe Usage Scheme visit the standpipes page on our website or phone our water rating team on 02 6861 2333 and press 3.