Council to cart water to Braidwood as town dries up

Ian Bushnell 7 January 2020 41

The main street of Braidwood. The drought and bushfires mean the town’s water supply is drying up. File photo

Potable water is to be trucked to Braidwood and restrictions raised to the highest level possible as the drought and bushfires take their toll on the town’s water supply.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has announced that from Friday (10 January) water restrictions in Braidwood will escalate to Level 4 and the council will begin transporting potable water to the town next week.

The council will also turn of the tap for the town’s public parks and gardens.

It said the extended dry period, and pressure placed on local water sources from bushfires in the area, has seen Braidwood’s off-river water storage drop to a concerning level.

It estimates that pumping from the Shoalhaven River will no longer be possible after 10 January, leaving only the off-river storage for town use. That storage currently sits at around 82 per cent of the 72ML capacity and is reducing by about 1 per cent every two to three days.

The council said that depending on the size of available trucks, up to five or six trucks will continuously deliver water to Braidwood for about 10 hours each day, including weekends.

It is asking the State Government to help cover the costs of water carting.

The average daily usage in Braidwood has been around 490kL since the move to Level 3 restrictions. Under the new restrictions the daily target is 280kL, compared to 360kL per day under Level 3.

QPRC CEO Peter Tegart said: “We are in an extraordinary dry spell. The combination of bushfires and ongoing drought continues to place pressure on our potable water supplies. The past few months have been very challenging for Braidwood, with drought, bushfire and water all causing much concern in the community and with Council.”

The council made town water available to rural property owners for domestic use, then introduced water restrictions in November, because of the ongoing lack of rain and greater than expected usage due to the bushfire emergency.

It has already suspended all grading to conserve water usage and will now cease all watering of parks and gardens in Braidwood. The Braidwood Pool will remain open until the end of the school holidays, however this will be reviewed at the end of the holidays.

The drought tap at Bicentennial Park, which allows farmland residents to obtain up to 1,000 litres of potable water per day, will remain open, however Council will increase monitoring to ensure it is being used responsibly. Drought taps at Bungendore and Captains Flat also remain open.

Bungendore will remain on Stage 1 restrictions. The Stage 1 target is 1,060kL per day. Current water consumption is approximately 1,600kL per day. Staff will continue to monitor bore performance and ground water levels.

Captains Flat and Queanbeyan will remain on permanent water conservation measures. Queanbeyan’s water is sourced from Icon Water and usage complies with ACT water restriction policy.

Full details about Level 4 water restrictions for Braidwood, plus a useful ‘Target 150’ personal water usage guide, is available on the QPRC website at:

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41 Responses to Council to cart water to Braidwood as town dries up
Alastair D'Silva Alastair D'Silva 8:16 am 13 Jan 20

Potable water is portable

David Terry David Terry 9:55 am 10 Jan 20

Might get a discount off the Chinese

Arthur Mezups Arthur Mezups 2:50 pm 09 Jan 20

Can we buy back the water that we just sold to Canada?

    Rod Hooper Rod Hooper 4:47 pm 09 Jan 20

    Arthur Mezups you want to check that. We didn't sell any water to Canada. The Canadian pension fund bought an Australian agribusiness that has the rights to water for their crops

    Arthur Mezups Arthur Mezups 9:12 am 10 Jan 20

    Which means Canada bought and is still using our water....plain and simple

    Earl Wyatt Earl Wyatt 7:10 am 12 Jan 20

    Arthur Mezups yes at at the double pace

Darryl Bush Darryl Bush 7:03 pm 08 Jan 20

Rail?... would definitely be cheaper then road 🤔

Julia Ross Julia Ross 3:15 pm 08 Jan 20

Bees, the greatest pollinators on earth will die if there's no flowers.

Beth Mansfield Beth Mansfield 7:31 am 08 Jan 20

Are they *sure* Canberra shouldn't be on water restrictions?

    Patricia Fuller Jarden Patricia Fuller Jarden 11:08 am 08 Jan 20

    Is Queanbeyan on restrictions? Canberra can only use sprinklers before 9am after 6pm according to webpage

    Shaun Lonergan Shaun Lonergan 7:07 pm 09 Jan 20

    Petra Solazzini what... look at water levels in the dams we have especially cotter, bendora and in emergency googong. Canberra is absolutely fine waterwise!!!

Monica Martin Monica Martin 3:50 am 08 Jan 20

Build f dams you twits.

Karen Schelbach Karen Schelbach 1:36 am 08 Jan 20

If the public gardens are not watered more animals and birds will die along with the gardens. I know people are the highest priority but it breaks my heart 💔

    Sandra Ellims Sandra Ellims 4:28 am 09 Jan 20

    Would be worth putting (and refreshing daily) containers of water in the public gardens. X

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 4:36 am 09 Jan 20

    Karen Ess the same can be said of private gardens too.

Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 11:05 pm 07 Jan 20

We need to start building more pipelines, desalination plants and water reuse systems.

    Shaz Max Shaz Max 11:36 pm 07 Jan 20

    Edgar Sharp or water from

    Air technology

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 3:36 pm 08 Jan 20

    The pipelines are for the desalination plant water (and other water) to be distributed as needed more efficiently around a larger network. Water trucks driving around is an incredibly inefficient way of doing things, and the problem is unlikely to be short term.

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 4:41 pm 08 Jan 20

    Btw are you asking me about CSG wells? Are there any near the ACT? And also, how is Australia selling water to Singapore? Do you mean bottled water?...

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:38 am 10 Jan 20

    Singapore tap water is safe to drink. they don't need our water.

    Mac Ka Mac Ka 7:30 pm 10 Jan 20

    Better to keep our heads in the sand and increase immigration without planning properly.

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 7:32 am 11 Jan 20

    Not specifically about cuttlefish, but yes there is more concentrated salt put back into the ocean that can cause problems in small areas, but those problems are definitely solvable by having a wider spread and diluted output. Previous plants have kept the output concentration to the highest allowable level due to cost efficiencies but if we were building alot of plants those sorts of allowable levels may need to be reviewed

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 7:35 am 11 Jan 20

    I don't what you're on about it being sold on the international market, but just stopping farmers from using it only solves some problems, there would still be a huge lack of water due to climate change, and ever increasing dry areas leading to more bushfires/etc. Regardless of government policy, we still need more water.

Lee Piper Lee Piper 10:49 pm 07 Jan 20

Oh, sprinklers, and lawns green!!! I’m just so bloody cranky now. It’s going to be week four of fighting this Beast’.

Steve Whan Steve Whan 10:42 pm 07 Jan 20


In the end of the day, nature always wins.

Science is the language of the natural world.


Jenny McCurley Jenny McCurley 8:42 pm 07 Jan 20

do we know where the water will be comeing from

Conor Standen Conor Standen 8:07 pm 07 Jan 20

And the peanut next door to me is watering his lawn again 4 hours after its rained. 🤦‍♂️

Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy 7:06 pm 07 Jan 20

Do they not get water from canberra? I always assumed

    Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 8:06 pm 07 Jan 20

    Jeremy Jeremy Googong , Queanbeyan and ACT are supplied by ICON.

    Everyone else find there own. Bungendore is on bore water. Braidwood pumps from the shoalhaven river. Captains flat from the molongolo river.

    Sean Lawson Sean Lawson 10:06 pm 07 Jan 20

    Braidwood's at the top of the Shoalhaven River catchment and draws from there. That means they're dependent on a fairly narrow wedge of mountain because on either side of nearby mountains, the water drains west into the Murrumbidgee/Molonglo/Lake George or east into the Clyde and other small coastal catchments.

    To my knowledge there's no cross catchment pipe that far upstream.

    Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy 10:42 pm 07 Jan 20

    Sean Lawson thank you

    Zoe Lewer Zoe Lewer 10:06 am 08 Jan 20

    Jeremy Jeremy this was a great question. I learned so much. Cheers

    Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy 10:07 am 08 Jan 20

    Zoe Lewer thanks 😊

Heather Purvis Heather Purvis 6:53 pm 07 Jan 20

NSW State govt needs to come up with a standardised policy on water restrictions, definitions & allowances within each level & their management; as well as how often they are reviewed & altered.

The current method of letting each Local council decide on which areas/towns are on water restrictions & the levels applied are wide & varied across NSW... 🤰😡🤯

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 4:36 am 09 Jan 20

    Heather Purvis the reason each area determines its own rules is because the water supplies are not interconnected.

    Having statewide rules and restrictions would be pointless.

    Monika Domaschenz Monika Domaschenz 5:48 pm 12 Jan 20

    Ashley Wright except that all of Australia is essentially fighting the same problem of water shortages

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:45 pm 12 Jan 20

    Monika Domaschenz except they are not. Different area have different storage levels and hence different restriction requirements.

    Good case in point is Canberra that currently has enough water for 3 years at current use without any significant rainfall in those 3 years whereas other areas have dried up.

    Monika Domaschenz Monika Domaschenz 7:57 pm 12 Jan 20

    Ashley Wright sorry don’t believe that is accurate

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:17 pm 12 Jan 20

    Monika Domaschenz Care to point out where that article contradicts anything I said?

    Even the headline that Canberra is a oasis points to what I am saying.

Frances Summers Frances Summers 6:25 pm 07 Jan 20

Cheryl Hannah - you may have seen already.

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