Residents call for stronger water restrictions in Macarthur

Cordeaux Dam's water level has now fallen to about 40 per cent capacity. Picture: Robert Peet
Cordeaux Dam's water level has now fallen to about 40 per cent capacity. Picture: Robert Peet

"Even with recent rain our dams are still losing water - we have to do more to protect our supply."

That's the belief of Dilly Drought Drive founder Sharon Robertson.

Ms Robertson said drought drive volunteers had been campaigning for water restrictions for the past two years.

"We are in stage one restrictions now but we should have had stage one restrictions a year ago," she said.

"If you take a look at the Sydney Water charts we should be on level two restrictions by now."

Ms Robertson believes the Sydney catchment area should be divided into south and north regions to better ensure water supplies.

"Sydney Water measures dam levels across the whole of Sydney to establish restrictions - so according to them the average level of our dams is just over 50 percent," she said.

"But if you look at the Macarthur and Wollongong catchment we are only just over 40 per cent.

"We should be on stage two restrictions out here to try and save our water while we still have it."

Level two water restriction measures include topping up pools or spas during certain hours and using a hand-held hose or drip-irrigation system for all outdoor water use between 6am to 8am or 6pm to 8pm

Ms Robertson and Wollondilly Council have been lobbying the state government for a better water security plan for the region over the past few years.

She said the government should be planning ahead.

"Stage one restrictions are mostly just common sense things that people should be doing already," she said.

"We can't keep thinking about the rest of Sydney - we don't have access to the desalination plant or Warragamaba Dam - there is no back-up for us.

"We need to protect our area and look after our water supply."

Ms Robertson said Wollondilly Council supported this idea, as well as Campbelltown MP Greg Warren.

She said she had also spoken to Camden and Campbelltown councillors about the issue.

"We hope it will never come to a point where we run out of water," she said.

"And it might not ever get to that point, but the next decent rainfall isn't predicted to happen until December."

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said the council was hugely supportive of Ms Robertson's idea.

"We need to be realistic about our water supply," he said.

"I think we need to have a frank discussion with all stakeholders about what we can do to preserve water and address the challenges we face in a growing region.

"As we know it can take time for people to change their behaviours and it will take time for people to adjust to further restrictions if they are implemented."

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