DROUGHT'S GRIP CONTINUES: Earlier this year vehicles lined up at Tenterfield Showground waiting to access fodder.
DROUGHT'S GRIP CONTINUES: Earlier this year vehicles lined up at Tenterfield Showground waiting to access fodder.

100 litres a day: Critical water limits near Tenterfield

RAIN might be falling around the 2480 postcode, but one council is calling for residents with knowledge of old water bores so they can be investigated to help alleviate the drought.

As the drought tightens its grip on the region, as part of the Emergency Water Security Augmentation Project, Tenterfield Council which is currently on Level 4.5 water restrictions, wants to stabilise and supplement its water supplies and is currently undertaking a search for new water bores.

And just 16km north at Jennings, residents are preparing to be restricted by Critical Water Restrictions of 100 litres per person per day from September 1.

Queensland's Southern Downs Regional Council, who provide the water for Jennings, advise that they have resolved to move to this water level across their region.

Tenterfield Council's acting chief executive Tamai Davidson said the community had been marvellous as the town progresses into the latter stages of winter with still no prospect of substantial rain on the horizon..

"At council we are throwing everything at this," she said.

"There will hopefully be some test drilling happening next week with some promising locations for bore to supplement our existing water supply."

She said council wanted to thank the community for their ongoing commitment and assistance.

"We are sharing water this with people, such as bucket under the shower to through onto the veggies," she said.

"We will get through this eventually."

Ms Davidson said a virtual drilling exercise has been undertaken to provide information to narrow the search for potential water bore sites and it hopes residents with knowledge of former bores will come forward and share the location including details of flow rates..

Ongoing investigations into these potential bore locations requires Council to request information from the community for locations of old bores or wells which may not be included in the lists of registered sites.

This information is required to ensure the new bore locations won't disrupt supply to landowners from their current bores/wells.

But there has been some potentially positive news with respect to the search for possible bore sites.

Council said specialist hydrogeologists Geo9 Pty Ltd and Zoic Pty Ltd have been investigating potential sites, which showed promise during the desk-top and site exploration investigations.

Council said, "of these, sites contained in the railway corridor and the Tenterfield Traditional Archers Club grounds look fair to good and it is anticipated drilling will commence at the Archery Club site late next week."

Test Bore Licences have been issued from the Natural Resources Access Regulator for these sites.

Council said if the Archery Club site prove viable, it will prove the best financial option for Council due to the close proximity to Tenterfield Dam.

Although this news is positive and the delivery of the desalination unit from Rural Aid will assist in sustaining the dam level (currently at 33 per cent), it is stressed that the community needs to continue to abide by the Level 4.5 water restrictions.

"Concern has been raised by several members of our community suggesting that Council should move to Level 5 Restrictions to ensure continuity of supply," Council said.

"However, the severity of Level 5 Restrictions would have a dire effect on tourism and would close many of our businesses, an impact Council sees as a last resort."

As per Council's adopted Drought Management Plan, Level 5 Restrictions would be enforced once the Dam level drops to 15 per cent.

Contact Tenterfield Council on 02 6736 6000 or council@tenterfield.nsw.gov.au.