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Water woes washed away as NSW Government pays for water carting to Euchareena

Patrick Bell, Wednesday October 16, 2019 - 06:29 EDT
Audience submitted image
Residents in Euchareena have previously had to pay thousands of dollars a year for water carting. - Audience submitted

Residents in a village in the New South Wales central west will no longer have to pay thousands of dollars a year to truck water into their town.

Dubbo Regional Council has begun carting water to Euchareena, a town that for roughly a century has not been connected to the council water supply.

The council has obtained funding for the project from the State Government, as part of a $15-million package in the most recent budget.

Euchareena resident Fleur Magick Dennis, whose family received the first truckload of water last week, said it will save her family almost $300 each month.

"That's a massive relief in terms of the financial burden of paying for water," she said.

Ms Dennis said many people in the town were on low incomes and would welcome the assistance.

"Anyone can drive through Euchareena and see that it is quite a poor community," she said.

Temporary relief

For around a century, water in Euchareena has been sourced from a private dam, which is not connected to the reticulated supply.

The dam has been dry for several months, and Dubbo Regional Council told the ABC in September it was seeking drought funding to pay for water carting.

The council's Director of Infrastructure, Julian Geddes, said the residents would be entitled to 100 litres per person, per day.

"Their restriction is probably a little bit more than what the current household would be on in Dubbo," he said.

Mr Geddes said the funding allocation would last around 10 months, if the drought did not break beforehand.

"If it's clear that drought conditions haven't been relieved, then council would look to extend that program or talk to DPI."

The State Government has also recently paid for water carting to .

It had been forced to turn to emergency supplies with no inflows into the Menindee Lakes.

Long-term planning now necessary

Ms Dennis has been fundraising for a bore to be built in Euchareena while the drought persists.

"How do we make sure that our community has a permanent water supply?" Ms Dennis said.

"A long time ago there was a functioning bore, but that collapsed."

Mr Geddes said the council had submitted an application to re-establish the town's bore licence.

"Once that is approved, we'll be commencing drilling to make sure there's also an adequate non-potable supply for Euchareena," he said.


© ABC 2019

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