Water restrictions and drought management

Detailed table of restrictions at each Water Restriction Level.

Current capacity of Rocky Creek Dam:   ( ).

Current capacity of Emigrant Creek Dam:   ( ).

Current water restriction status: Level 1.

Water restrictions

Rous County Council has implemented Level 1 water restrictions. The decision to introduce restrictions before the dam reaches 60 per cent, which is the normal trigger point, was made due to a rapid drop in water levels combined with a drier than average outlook for summer.

Restrictions will apply to all residents and businesses on the Rous water supply network. This includes the council areas of Ballina (including Wardell and Meerschaum Vale), Byron (excluding Mullumbimby), Lismore (excluding Nimbin), and Richmond Valley (excluding land to the west of Coraki).

Byron Shire council introduced Level 3 water restrictions to Mullumbimby water residents (as of 12 November 2019). For more information, visit the Byron Shire Council website.

Lismore City Council introduced Level 2 water restrictions to Nimbin residents (as of 18 November 2019). For more information, visit the Lismore City Council website.

Kyogle Council introduced water Level 2 restrictions to Kyogle residents in January 2019. For more information, visit the Kyogle Council website.

Richmond Valley Council introduced Level 3 water restrictions to Casino water residents on 16 September 2019. For more information, visit the Richmond Valley Council website.

Rocky Creek Dam, the region’s principal water source, is currently at   capacity. 

Rainfall outlook

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts below-average rainfall for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020 for the Northern Rivers region.

The Regional Drought Management Plan

The Regional Drought Management Plan is in place to ensure continued water supply during drought conditions to meet water user, public health and firefighting needs.

The Regional Drought Management Plan aims to provide a consistent restriction regime for all water supplies across the Rous County Council supply region incorporating Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley local government areas.

For more information about water restrictions please view the Regional Drought Management Plan or contact us by calling 02 6623 3800.

See why saving water in the Northern Rivers is as important as ever. (Click to enlarge)

Water restriction levels:

Restriction status Rocky Creek Dam level
(% of full supply volume)
General restriction type Conditions
Everyday water
saving measures
100% Recommended water use of 160 litres per person per day. Normal
Level 1 60% Hose and irrigation restrictions. Drought period
Level 2 45% Hose and irrigation restrictions.
Level 3 30% Hose and irrigation restrictions.
Level 4 20% Hose and irrigation ban. Emergency
Level 5 10% Total outdoor use ban (excluding drinking water).

Please view the table of Water Saving Measures at each Water Restriction Level if you would like more detail.

We all have a role in saving water and using this resource wisely is something Rous County Council encourages the community to always do, even in times of no water restrictions.

Every day water saving measures

There are a number of simple everyday steps that help reduce our water use. (Click to enlarge)

Nine neat ways to save water