Dry times mean liquid gold in short supply
A DRY spring following an even drier winter leaves one resource very scarce in the Dubbo region. But for water carter Peter Edwards, business is booming, with many residents ordering H2O as their supplies run dry.
Mr Edwards said that many people not connected to town water were now running low.
“A lot of people are getting water delivered,” he told Dubbo Photo News.
“It’s a very busy time.” Normally, Mr Edwards would deliver two to three loads per day.
Lately, his workload has quadrupled to 10-12 customers per day with 13,500 litres delivered to each customer.
“A lot of people are getting water delivered,” Mr Edwards confirmed. “There’s a lot more than usual.
“We are working seven days a week – whenever people need water. It’s a boom time.”
For some clients, it’s the first time in a long time that they’ve required a water delivery.
“For one property, it’s only the third time in 30 years. We are hearing stories like that all the time. We are serving our regulars but there’s a lot of new people too.”
With the possibility of rain on the horizon, Mr Edwards is currently ‘making hay while the sun shines'.
“Things are in full swing.” Spring is normally a fairly busy time anyway, with customers ordering more water than during the cooler months.
“They might be filling swimming pools, filling the tank for Christmas or preparing for summer visitors and the fire season.
“People like to have more water around when it’s very dry,” Mr Edwards confirmed.
“When they haven’t bought it, they are feeling the pinch.”
In some cases, it’s the first time buying water.
“I was at a guy’s place where he’d taken over the family farm. His father never bought water. He has bought water 2-3 times recently.”
Mr Carter said the water shortage was not restricted to any single part of the region.
“There’s no one particular area, it’s pretty widespread. We are even getting calls from outside Dubbo – Mudgee, Ilford, Gulgong. We would go there but it’s just been so busy here.”
One of their biggest customers in recent times has been the solar farm being built in Dubbo.
“That has nothing to do with the drought,” Mr Edwards said.
“They just need water for the employees building the farm.”
Other customers have included mining camps in the region and the police stations at Louth and Enngonia.
For most people, running out of water is not something they even need to consider, with an adequate supply at the turn of a tap.
“Unless you run out of water, you don’t understand how important it is. It’s a drastic situation if you can’t get water. Everyone is just buying it at the moment. It’s something you can’t live without.”
Dry times: Water carter Peter Edwards says some customers are having to buy in water for just the third time in 30 years. PHOTO: WENDY MERRICK