This alarming cross section of the Bellinger River levels at Thora was taken from the WaterNSW website earlier today, Thursday.
While it does not show the entire water flow picture for the shire, it is certainly a stark image of how bad things are.
In response to questions from the Courier Sun, a Bellingen Shire Council spokesman said inflows from tributaries meant the shire's water supply was still adequate in spite of the low levels.
He said that Level 5 'emergency' water restrictions did not have a prescribed trigger but were decided at a local situational level.
Earlier this week the Courier Sun published a story about what the council was doing to ensure the shire's water supply. including discussions with the State Government regarding emergency funding to establish a temporary membrane reverse osmosis treatment module on the Bellinger River.
The council has now announced that it will hold an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, December 11 at 9am to "consider a report about processes/funding re emergency water supply for Bellingen".
The Business Paper for this meeting will be on the council's website by close of business on Friday.
The council's spokesman said it was vital that people took their water consumption seriously:
"The community has to help us to help them - it really is important to take those three minute showers and to collect the cold water that flows before the hot arrives in a bucket for your plants," he said.
Other easy water-saving measures include:
- Don't turn on the washing machine until you have a full load.
- Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth.
- Wash up in a plastic tub so you can use the grey water on your plants.
- Some food colouring in your toilet cistern and a careful look will reveal if your cistern is leaking.
- Fix any leaking taps.