Water fight finds no hold as Dubbo points to the figures

DUBBO mayor Mathew Dickerson has let a dam's numbers do the talking as the city's water use was criticised by a dried-up neighbour.

The Central Western Daily reported yesterday Orange residents used an average 306 litres of water each last week as Dubbo "guzzled, poured and sprinkled 1136 litres" per person.

Orange mayor John Davis said Dubbo's water use - which the report said was four times that of his city - was a shocking figure when Burrendong Dam's level was about 55 per cent of its capacity.

The comments glided off Cr Dickerson's duck suit yesterday and he gave no ground on the issue of water restrictions.

"Even at 55 per cent Burrendong Dam is currently holding 40 times more water than Suma Park Dam (in Orange)," Cr Dickerson said.

"The majority of other towns in NSW are not on restrictions - it does not follow that because one town is, then everybody else has to follow suit."

Dubbo's temperature was a record 45 degrees Celsius on Saturday as Orange experienced 38.1 degrees.

From January 7 until Sunday Dubbo had six days when the mercury ran past 36 degrees, while Orange chilled with five days below 35 degrees, two of them lower than 30 degrees.

It was a factor Cr Dickerson took into consideration.

"The majority of Dubbo residents rely on evaporative aircon - with recent high temperatures they have been running constantly," he said.

"They use more water than reverse-cycle but less electricity."

As Orange leaders complained about water equality the Daily Liberal asked Cr Dickerson if the city would ride out the criticism or stem the tide.

The mayor highlighted the benefits the city built at the banks of the Macquarie River offered.

"Dubbo and Orange have both spent significant millions of dollars in recent years to upgrade their respective levels of water supply security," Cr Dickerson said.

"Dubbo happens to be more fortunate than Orange, however, with regard to the intrinsic security of Burrendong Dam and the groundwater resources we have directly beneath the city.

"Dubbo's infrastructure investment and water security give it a competitive advantage over many other regional towns and cities."

Orange has had almost a decade of water restrictions and its council plans to achieve water security with the Macquarie to Orange Pipeline Project.

Dubbo consumed 52 megalitres of treated water, equivalent to 1118 litres per person, in the 24-hour period ending 7am yesterday, the council reported.


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