Dry times mean liq­uid gold in short sup­ply

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By NATALIE HOLMES

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.