Nimbin Water Security

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Water security has been identified as an issue of concern for the Nimbin District. Community members have expressed concerns regarding the current quantity of water being drawn from Mulgum Creek, increased demand for water as the community grows, ongoing impacts of climate change and the maintenance of environmental flows to ensure the biodiversity of Mulgum creek is protected.

Lismore City Council has allocated funding to construct a new water treatment plant for Nimbin. This will allow water drawn from Mulgum Creek to be used more efficiently, with wastage dramatically reduced.

Council is also looking at alternative water supply options for the village of Nimbin, such as a water bore located near the Nimbin Swimming Pool. Council has a license to extract this water and is in the process of exploring the viability of this bore as an alternative water source.

Find Out More

This page has been created as an avenue for the community to access information regarding Nimbin's water security and ask questions using the Q&A function below. Frequently asked questions can be found on the right of this page.

Water security has been identified as an issue of concern for the Nimbin District. Community members have expressed concerns regarding the current quantity of water being drawn from Mulgum Creek, increased demand for water as the community grows, ongoing impacts of climate change and the maintenance of environmental flows to ensure the biodiversity of Mulgum creek is protected.

Lismore City Council has allocated funding to construct a new water treatment plant for Nimbin. This will allow water drawn from Mulgum Creek to be used more efficiently, with wastage dramatically reduced.

Council is also looking at alternative water supply options for the village of Nimbin, such as a water bore located near the Nimbin Swimming Pool. Council has a license to extract this water and is in the process of exploring the viability of this bore as an alternative water source.

Find Out More

This page has been created as an avenue for the community to access information regarding Nimbin's water security and ask questions using the Q&A function below. Frequently asked questions can be found on the right of this page.

Q+A

Please leave your relevant questions below. Frequently asked questions can be found on the right of this page. 

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  • Share Why have the residents of Nimbin been advised to boil all drinkng water today on Facebook Share Why have the residents of Nimbin been advised to boil all drinkng water today on Twitter Share Why have the residents of Nimbin been advised to boil all drinkng water today on Linkedin Email Why have the residents of Nimbin been advised to boil all drinkng water today link

    Why have the residents of Nimbin been advised to boil all drinkng water today

    Lois Polglase asked 7 months ago

    Hi Lois, apologies for not having the information available on this page. The Boil water alert has now been lifted (Nimbin Rural Line customer boil water alert remains). The water treatment concerns were addressed swiftly. Please see below statement.

    The Boil Water Alert for the village of Nimbin has been lifted, effective immediately. 

    This only applies to the Nimbin Urban Boil Water Alert, Nimbin Rural customers remains under an ongoing Boil Water Alert. For information about the Nimbin rural alert click here.

    On Tuesday, 5 December Nimbin village was placed on a boil water alert due to problems with water treatment.

    The problem has been rectified and NSW Health has supported Council lifting the boil water alert.

  • Share I'm concerned about residential developments around Nimbin, they are no longer to be connected to the mains supply from what I have read. However in drought when the water is restricted there are trucks carting water to people who are suppose to rely on water tanks but get them filled by a tanker. What is the point/difference of whether they are connect to the system when they are taking from it anyway? That just stresses the whole system for our town. Are you going to continue adding more developments? (and draining more water from from our supply). In drought water is a precious commodity and water sellers should not take from residents on the supply for the simple fact there isn't that much. Growing up on a farm I've seen what water wars are and they are not pretty! on Facebook Share I'm concerned about residential developments around Nimbin, they are no longer to be connected to the mains supply from what I have read. However in drought when the water is restricted there are trucks carting water to people who are suppose to rely on water tanks but get them filled by a tanker. What is the point/difference of whether they are connect to the system when they are taking from it anyway? That just stresses the whole system for our town. Are you going to continue adding more developments? (and draining more water from from our supply). In drought water is a precious commodity and water sellers should not take from residents on the supply for the simple fact there isn't that much. Growing up on a farm I've seen what water wars are and they are not pretty! on Twitter Share I'm concerned about residential developments around Nimbin, they are no longer to be connected to the mains supply from what I have read. However in drought when the water is restricted there are trucks carting water to people who are suppose to rely on water tanks but get them filled by a tanker. What is the point/difference of whether they are connect to the system when they are taking from it anyway? That just stresses the whole system for our town. Are you going to continue adding more developments? (and draining more water from from our supply). In drought water is a precious commodity and water sellers should not take from residents on the supply for the simple fact there isn't that much. Growing up on a farm I've seen what water wars are and they are not pretty! on Linkedin Email I'm concerned about residential developments around Nimbin, they are no longer to be connected to the mains supply from what I have read. However in drought when the water is restricted there are trucks carting water to people who are suppose to rely on water tanks but get them filled by a tanker. What is the point/difference of whether they are connect to the system when they are taking from it anyway? That just stresses the whole system for our town. Are you going to continue adding more developments? (and draining more water from from our supply). In drought water is a precious commodity and water sellers should not take from residents on the supply for the simple fact there isn't that much. Growing up on a farm I've seen what water wars are and they are not pretty! link

    I'm concerned about residential developments around Nimbin, they are no longer to be connected to the mains supply from what I have read. However in drought when the water is restricted there are trucks carting water to people who are suppose to rely on water tanks but get them filled by a tanker. What is the point/difference of whether they are connect to the system when they are taking from it anyway? That just stresses the whole system for our town. Are you going to continue adding more developments? (and draining more water from from our supply). In drought water is a precious commodity and water sellers should not take from residents on the supply for the simple fact there isn't that much. Growing up on a farm I've seen what water wars are and they are not pretty!

    Ava asked about 2 years ago

    Hi Ava,

    The existing water supply configuration in Nimbin essentially relies on flows from Mulgum Creek i.e. there isn’t any substantive ‘on creek storage’, like a dam. With this, the capacity to supply additional development is limited. If we were to ramp up the extraction from the creek on an ongoing basis (to supply additional development), it would have widespread environmental impacts due to a reduced amount of water running down the creek. 

    It’s important to understand that no water supply is ‘drought proof’. They are generally designed/configured under the ‘NSW Security of Supply Basis’, ( commonly referred to as the ‘5/10/20 rule’) so that:

    1. Duration of water restrictions does not exceed 5% of the time; and
    2. Frequency of restrictions does not exceed 10% of years ( i.e. 1 year in 10 on average); and
    3. Severity of restrictions does not exceed 20%. Systems must be able to meet 80% of the unrestricted water demand (i.e. 20% average reduction in consumption due to water restrictions) through a repetition of the worst recorded drought, commencing with the storage drawn down to the level at which restrictions need to be imposed to satisfy a) and b) above.


    Furthermore, under the drought management plan for the Nimbin Water Supply, there is a point at which the bulk fill point will be closed. This means that bulk water for rainwater tanks will need to be sourced from another catchment.

    Thanks, 

    Aaron

  • Share Has the impact of the flood on Nimbin's water supply and security generated any review internally of future options, including for environmental flow? on Facebook Share Has the impact of the flood on Nimbin's water supply and security generated any review internally of future options, including for environmental flow? on Twitter Share Has the impact of the flood on Nimbin's water supply and security generated any review internally of future options, including for environmental flow? on Linkedin Email Has the impact of the flood on Nimbin's water supply and security generated any review internally of future options, including for environmental flow? link

    Has the impact of the flood on Nimbin's water supply and security generated any review internally of future options, including for environmental flow?

    Diana Roberts asked about 2 years ago

    The plan in place prior to the flood event (to build a treatment plant at Nimbin) will improve water security and mitigate the risk of residents being completely cut of from supply (which occurred during the February 2022 flood).

     Aside from this, Council is investigating the suitability of an existing groundwater bore for use in the water supply. If suitable, this bore may be used during drought situations, or form part of the permeant supply mix.

    The weir at Mulgum Creek essentially creates a permeant deep spot so that water can be harvested for consumption by the village. The weir itself is constantly spilling (other than in extreme droughts), meaning that water is continuously flowing down the creek. Only a very small percentage of the water that flows down the creek makes its way in to the pipeline for ultimate consumption by the Nimbin residents.

  • Share 1 will the reticulation of water the LCC is proposing to mean the possible use of chemicals in the treatment system 2 are the plastic pipes breakable or bendable with impact from floating rocks coming in from beneath the surface, if so this will reduce the effectiveness and increase the leakages. 3 could development and work on the natural sink close to Gungas Road, be considered as a better method of harnessing water flow during flood, so guarantee water security, and recreate an ecosystem in the area for flora and fauna 5 has the long term impacts of climate change been taken into account by the LCC, when current water flows are low , will nimbin will still have water shortages 6 how much will rates rise after this work has been done 7 has the LCC taken into account the long term impact of Nimbin infrastructure issues to do with roads, parking, pollution of noise, surface flow changes as the population rises , 8 the greater area already has enough people to sustain a viable business district, more development in the upper valley will mean environmental issues to the lower valley on Facebook Share 1 will the reticulation of water the LCC is proposing to mean the possible use of chemicals in the treatment system 2 are the plastic pipes breakable or bendable with impact from floating rocks coming in from beneath the surface, if so this will reduce the effectiveness and increase the leakages. 3 could development and work on the natural sink close to Gungas Road, be considered as a better method of harnessing water flow during flood, so guarantee water security, and recreate an ecosystem in the area for flora and fauna 5 has the long term impacts of climate change been taken into account by the LCC, when current water flows are low , will nimbin will still have water shortages 6 how much will rates rise after this work has been done 7 has the LCC taken into account the long term impact of Nimbin infrastructure issues to do with roads, parking, pollution of noise, surface flow changes as the population rises , 8 the greater area already has enough people to sustain a viable business district, more development in the upper valley will mean environmental issues to the lower valley on Twitter Share 1 will the reticulation of water the LCC is proposing to mean the possible use of chemicals in the treatment system 2 are the plastic pipes breakable or bendable with impact from floating rocks coming in from beneath the surface, if so this will reduce the effectiveness and increase the leakages. 3 could development and work on the natural sink close to Gungas Road, be considered as a better method of harnessing water flow during flood, so guarantee water security, and recreate an ecosystem in the area for flora and fauna 5 has the long term impacts of climate change been taken into account by the LCC, when current water flows are low , will nimbin will still have water shortages 6 how much will rates rise after this work has been done 7 has the LCC taken into account the long term impact of Nimbin infrastructure issues to do with roads, parking, pollution of noise, surface flow changes as the population rises , 8 the greater area already has enough people to sustain a viable business district, more development in the upper valley will mean environmental issues to the lower valley on Linkedin Email 1 will the reticulation of water the LCC is proposing to mean the possible use of chemicals in the treatment system 2 are the plastic pipes breakable or bendable with impact from floating rocks coming in from beneath the surface, if so this will reduce the effectiveness and increase the leakages. 3 could development and work on the natural sink close to Gungas Road, be considered as a better method of harnessing water flow during flood, so guarantee water security, and recreate an ecosystem in the area for flora and fauna 5 has the long term impacts of climate change been taken into account by the LCC, when current water flows are low , will nimbin will still have water shortages 6 how much will rates rise after this work has been done 7 has the LCC taken into account the long term impact of Nimbin infrastructure issues to do with roads, parking, pollution of noise, surface flow changes as the population rises , 8 the greater area already has enough people to sustain a viable business district, more development in the upper valley will mean environmental issues to the lower valley link

    1 will the reticulation of water the LCC is proposing to mean the possible use of chemicals in the treatment system 2 are the plastic pipes breakable or bendable with impact from floating rocks coming in from beneath the surface, if so this will reduce the effectiveness and increase the leakages. 3 could development and work on the natural sink close to Gungas Road, be considered as a better method of harnessing water flow during flood, so guarantee water security, and recreate an ecosystem in the area for flora and fauna 5 has the long term impacts of climate change been taken into account by the LCC, when current water flows are low , will nimbin will still have water shortages 6 how much will rates rise after this work has been done 7 has the LCC taken into account the long term impact of Nimbin infrastructure issues to do with roads, parking, pollution of noise, surface flow changes as the population rises , 8 the greater area already has enough people to sustain a viable business district, more development in the upper valley will mean environmental issues to the lower valley

    robert django asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Robert, thank you for your questions.

    The water treatment plant will require the use of chemicals as part of the process. The plant will be designed in accordance with relevant Australian Standards and to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for drinking water.

    The materials to be used in the reticulation system are manufactured to meet relevant Australian Standards and designed to withstand ground conditions where they are installed.

    Suggestions about creating “water sinks” or “dams” or the like are not being considered at present as they are subject to rigorous, lengthy, expensive and somewhat onerous approval processes when compared to the other options available.

    The impacts of climate change are being considered in regard to the calculation of the future availability of water supply for Nimbin.

    The costs of construction of the new water treatment plant and associated water mains has already been factored into Council’s rates and charges for water. Review of these charges occurs each year as part of Council’s budget process.

  • Share • What steps has Lismore City Council taken in the past to actively reduce leaks, wastage and misuse of drinking water , and reduce water demands in the Nimbin system. • How effective have these been in terms of megalitres saved? • What new measures for smart water use management are planned? • Given that rainfall-dependent supplies are at high risk of failure in droughts of the scale now predicted by climate scientists, what other sources apart from bore water are being investigated? on Facebook Share • What steps has Lismore City Council taken in the past to actively reduce leaks, wastage and misuse of drinking water , and reduce water demands in the Nimbin system. • How effective have these been in terms of megalitres saved? • What new measures for smart water use management are planned? • Given that rainfall-dependent supplies are at high risk of failure in droughts of the scale now predicted by climate scientists, what other sources apart from bore water are being investigated? on Twitter Share • What steps has Lismore City Council taken in the past to actively reduce leaks, wastage and misuse of drinking water , and reduce water demands in the Nimbin system. • How effective have these been in terms of megalitres saved? • What new measures for smart water use management are planned? • Given that rainfall-dependent supplies are at high risk of failure in droughts of the scale now predicted by climate scientists, what other sources apart from bore water are being investigated? on Linkedin Email • What steps has Lismore City Council taken in the past to actively reduce leaks, wastage and misuse of drinking water , and reduce water demands in the Nimbin system. • How effective have these been in terms of megalitres saved? • What new measures for smart water use management are planned? • Given that rainfall-dependent supplies are at high risk of failure in droughts of the scale now predicted by climate scientists, what other sources apart from bore water are being investigated? link

    • What steps has Lismore City Council taken in the past to actively reduce leaks, wastage and misuse of drinking water , and reduce water demands in the Nimbin system. • How effective have these been in terms of megalitres saved? • What new measures for smart water use management are planned? • Given that rainfall-dependent supplies are at high risk of failure in droughts of the scale now predicted by climate scientists, what other sources apart from bore water are being investigated?

    Jim Richardson asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Jim, thank you for your questions.

    Council has a program of monitoring to detect leaks in the water supply system. Any leaks that are found are dealt with as soon as possible.

    In regard to residential users behaviour Council has had education programs in the past delivered by a Water Education Officer. That position is currently not filled and Council is reviewing its function and will make a decision on recruitment prior to the 2022/23 financial year. Rous Water also undertake region wide water conservation programs which includes Nimbin.

    Council does not have specific data on what impact the measures adopted in the past have had on customer behaviour.

    Council is not investigating any alternate water sources for Nimbin other than the licence from Mulgum Creek and groundwater sources (bore). Whilst not currently being considered, construction of a pipeline to connect to the Rocky Creek Dam supply is a further option that may be considered in the future.

  • Share It appears irresponsible to environmental water flows in dry periods that council operates on a license to use the water from Mulgum creek in quantities that it sees fit and not under environmental guidlines, especially when new residences are allowed by council. Please respond as to what environmentally caring authority the council works with in allocating water flow for the environment. on Facebook Share It appears irresponsible to environmental water flows in dry periods that council operates on a license to use the water from Mulgum creek in quantities that it sees fit and not under environmental guidlines, especially when new residences are allowed by council. Please respond as to what environmentally caring authority the council works with in allocating water flow for the environment. on Twitter Share It appears irresponsible to environmental water flows in dry periods that council operates on a license to use the water from Mulgum creek in quantities that it sees fit and not under environmental guidlines, especially when new residences are allowed by council. Please respond as to what environmentally caring authority the council works with in allocating water flow for the environment. on Linkedin Email It appears irresponsible to environmental water flows in dry periods that council operates on a license to use the water from Mulgum creek in quantities that it sees fit and not under environmental guidlines, especially when new residences are allowed by council. Please respond as to what environmentally caring authority the council works with in allocating water flow for the environment. link

    It appears irresponsible to environmental water flows in dry periods that council operates on a license to use the water from Mulgum creek in quantities that it sees fit and not under environmental guidlines, especially when new residences are allowed by council. Please respond as to what environmentally caring authority the council works with in allocating water flow for the environment.

    Yagia asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Yagia, thank you for your question.

    Lismore City Council is not responsible for regulation of water flows, licences , environmental flows etc. in Mulgum Creek. That responsibility lies with the NSW Government and is regulated through the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Lismore City Council extracts water from Mulgum Creek in accordance with the terms of its Licence issued through that Department. The construction of the new water treatment plant and changes to the water reticulation network will mean that maintenance and operational practices can be improved such that less water is wasted during these practices, thus requiring less extraction from Mulgum Creek. This in turn means more water available for environmental flows.        

Page last updated: 28 Mar 2023, 04:45 PM