Local irrigator Stephen Bennett and Lower Murray Water managing director, Anthony Couroupis.

SUNRAYSIA households and urban water users will be hit with Stage 1 water use restrictions effective 12.01am next Thursday, November 21.

Continuing drought conditions, and low to little in-flows into the State’s water catchment areas, have prompted the move.

Lower Murray Water (LMW) flagged the need to implement Stage 1 restrictions several weeks ago, with managing director, Anthony Couroupis, this week confirming the water authority had no choice but to put restrictions in place.

Restrictions will apply to all town potable water supplies in the LMW service region, including private and public gardens and lawns, sporting grounds and commercial and industrial external water use.

Households will still be able to water lawns and gardens under the restrictions, however this activity will be limited to specific times, determined by odds and evens property numbering and the corresponding day of the month. 

Watering of gardens and lawns will only be permitted between midnight and 4am, between 6am and 10am and between 6pm and 10pm. Hand-held watering with the use of a trigger nozzle is permitted at any time under Stage 1 water restrictions.

Stage One restrictions will apply to the Sunraysia Urban District (Mildura, Irymple, Merbein), the Red Cliffs Urban District and the Robinvale Urban District.

Other areas to be affected include the Piangil Urban District, the Nyah Urban District, the Nyah West Urban District, the Woorinen South Urban District, the Swan Hill Urban District, the Lake Boga Urban District, the Murrabit Urban District, the Koondrook Urban District and Kerang Urban District.

Mr Couroupis said that many areas around the State were experiencing dry conditions, with well-below-average rainfall and low inflows to Murray River storages also being experienced. 

“With warmer weather approaching, and the main rainfall season now over, it’s now necessary to commence the Stage 1 water-savings measures,” he said. “For water-savings measures to be effective, we all need to play our part and conserve water for the benefit of our community. 

“By being proactive and starting restrictions now, we can save water that we may need for 2020/21.”

Information about Stage 1 restrictions will be provided to the community via LMW’s print and digital channels over the coming weeks. 

“We encourage all LMW customers to take the opportunity to check their watering systems and timers to ensure they comply with the requirements of Stage 1 restrictions,” Mr Couroupis said.

“Further information is available on our website, via social media and by contacting our local offices.” 

LMW will be active in the community to educate customers about Stage 1 restrictions.