Water restrictions in Braidwood have residents feeling the pinch

Braidwood residents have been feeling the pinch of tighter water restrictions as Icon Water supply will be trucked into the town.

Braidwood micro farmer Bronwyn Richards has lost thousands of dollars of income this summer due to a lack of water. Picture: Karleen Minney

Braidwood micro farmer Bronwyn Richards has lost thousands of dollars of income this summer due to a lack of water. Picture: Karleen Minney

Bronwyn Richards was unable to plant summer crops at her micro farm in town due to the drought and water restrictions.

"Not putting in a summer crop means no income," she said.

Ms Richards runs Wynlen House Urban Micro Farm on a suburban block in town covered by residential water restrictions. She was forced to apply for an exemption to prevent her farm going out of business.

She recently received an exemption but previously had to abide by the residential water restrictions.

"When you think of market gardens like ours we are providing food for local people and that should be a priority, not the first thing targeted," she said.

"When stage three came around I spoke to the local cafes and the laundromat and none of them have to abide by any water restrictions."


Braidwood has moved to level four water restrictions less than two months after restrictions were introduced. She was upset that the town had to move to that level so quickly.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council mayor Tim Overall said restrictions had been escalated so rapidly because the Shoalhaven River stopped flowing "rather suddenly", coupled with the prolonged drought.

Mr Overall said augmenting Braidwood's water supply would be essential work over the next six months.

"We have invested significantly in improving the water supply infrastructure in Braidwood over the last couple of years ... but we do need to look at now is augmenting or increasing, look at the various options for increasing the supply of potable water in terms of reservoir or facility off-river," he said.

It comes as the ACT government and Icon Water agreed to a request from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council to supply water to the town for six months.

The water will come from Queanbeyan's reticulation network and would be managed under the existing the agreement between the council and Icon Water. Trucks would cart 250 to 300 kilolitres of water into Braidwood each day.

"[We're] commencing cartage of water initially from Bungendore early next week and shortly after that from Queanbeyan, we're looking at six to seven water tankers per day to ensure the continual flow into Braidwood," Mr Overall said.

Braidwood Community Association president Sue Murray described the decision as "wonderful".

"They have got the water and we need the water so why not," she said.

On the decision, Ms Murray said what else could the town do.

Speaking in Braidwood on Friday, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the territory would consider any other similar requests from other towns in the region if they needed help. But there had been none so far.

Yass Valley will upgrade to level two water restrictions this Sunday. Cooma is also on level two.

This story Braidwood residents feel the pinch of tighter water restrictions first appeared on The Canberra Times.