Power and Water has reduced its groundwater extraction from the McMinns and Howard East borefields due to recent poor groundwater recharge and record low rainfall over the Darwin River Reservoir.
Chief Executive, Michael Thomson, said Power and Water is very aware of the impact of drought conditions and has volunteered that Power and Water will reduce the amount of water it extracts from the borefields this dry season.
“I have lived in areas during some of the toughest times of drought. I know what it’s like to be faced with limited water and the impact of water restrictions,” Mr Thomson said.
“Although we are not at that stage here, Power and Water will do our part.”
Power and Water has sourced groundwater from the Howard Groundwater System since the 1960s and is licensed for 8.42GL per annum, which is about 20 per cent of all water extracted from that source.
Power and Water’s actual groundwater extraction has ranged between 54 per cent and 73 per cent of its licenced allocation in recent years, which typically represents 15 per cent of the total water supply to Darwin. This water is essential to ensure security of water supply for the greater Darwin area.
“We have been monitoring this situation closely along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and have offered to reduce our extraction to just 25 per cent of our licenced allocation,” Mr Thomson said.
“We have also adjusted our operations to only extract from bores that are located furthest away from residential bores.”
Through its Living Water Smart program, Power and Water has been actively promoting water conservation for over five years, successfully reducing water use in the Darwin and Palmerston urban residential areas by 20 per cent.
“We encourage everyone to do their bit, which includes all sectors of the community—government, councils, commercial and residential,” Mr Thomson said.
“We can all commit to use less and help ensure this precious resource is available for everyone.”