Water subsidies set to continue as the drought grinds on

OBERON Council will continue to offer its assistance as the district suffers through a dispiriting drought.

Council has previously resolved to help rural and non-residential ratepayers by offering a reduced rate for potable drinking water (subject to monthly tracking) for use only within the Oberon local government area.

At the May 21 council meeting, it was resolved to extend this subsidy for three months.

Under normal seasonal conditions, August to December have the highest estimated daily pasture growth rates on the Central Tablelands.

But Oberon continues to receive well below average rainfall, with just 5.8 millimetres being recorded in April this year, 51.2mm in May, 35.4mm in June and only 9.8mm in July.

Higher than normal rainfall is needed now to replenish subsoil moisture profiles to support pasture growth and replenish dams, according to council.

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Council says total water sales for the month, from June 8 to July 8, were 340,000 litres of water allocated between 10 customers.

A total of $187 was spent under the assistance program from a potential residential water charge of $992.80, according to council.

However, under the standard fees and charges for the sale of water from the existing standpipe for domestic water (being $5.80 per thousand litres), the cost is $1972, council says, which is a saving to the community of $1785.

As well as discounted water, council will continue to distribute "Shop Local" vouchers and "on farm" assistance for those who may be finding life challenging as the drought continues.