Rous Water and the local councils of Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley are planning to put a number of permanent water-saving measures in place and have put the proposals on public exhibition for community feedback until June 30.

“Rous Water and local councils in the Rous region are considering the implementation of Permanent Water Saving Measures,” Cr Col Sullivan, Chair of Rous Water, announced this week.

“It is envisaged that these voluntary measures will be part of our ongoing commitment to sustainable water use in the region.”

Rous Water’s general manager, Kyme Lavelle, said Rous Water in June last year conducted a community survey of attitudes towards permanent water-saving measures.

“These measures would be voluntary and separate from the mandatory water restrictions that are implemented during dry times,” Mr Lavelle said.

“The study found very strong support within the community for permanent water conservation measures, regardless of dam levels. These measures will therefore be in place on an ongoing basis and will ensure sensible and sustainable use of potable water throughout the region.”

Rous Water and the local councils of Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley have jointly prepared a list of possible measures, based on feedback obtained during the community survey and other similar measures in place elsewhere in Australia.

The measures will restrict the use of potable water for activities such as hosing of hard surfaces and garden watering times.

Before being finalised and implemented, the measures are now on exhibition for further comment by the public.

The permanent water conservation measures will become part of a regional water management plan which will also incorporate water restriction levels during drought times.

“We want to ensure that our precious potable water is not being wasted by excessive use for unsustainable practices,” Mr Lavelle said.

Some of the proposed permanent restrictions for households include:

Only allowing outdoor watering between 6am and 10am, and 3pm and 10pm every day

All hand-held hoses should be fitted with a trigger nozzle

Water should not be used to clean driveways, paths, paved areas or other impervious surfaces.

The proposals can be seen at www.rouswater.nsw.gov.au or phone 1800 450203 to receive a copy.