Usable water levels fall to five per cent in drought-stricken Murrurundi's town dam

A NSW council is on the verge of of carting water from 40kms to a drought-hit town after its dam’s usable water supply fell to five per cent.

An emergency bore installed last year has been supplying 70 per cent of Murrurundi’s needs with the rest coming from the dam and the Pages River gallery.

The dam will last for a few months but if the bore fails the council will cart water for domestic supply to the town in the NSW Upper Hunter Valley.

Water carting costs of $1000 a day would be shared by the NSW government and the council’s water fund which comes from water rates, shire-wide.

If water carting from Scone to Murrurundi is required, it will be trucked in daily to the lagoon to cover the town’s needs, rather than being stored, as 60,000 litres of water a day is lost from the dam to evaporation.

Murrurundi has been on level six water restrictions since last July.

The council is currently calling for tenders for the detailed design and construction of the Scone to Murrurundi Water Pipeline expected to be completed in 2020.

The project is estimated to cost $14.2 million, with over $13 million in funding provided by the NSW government’s Restart NSW Water Security for Regions program.

The remainder of the project funding is provided by the council.