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Bega borefield is located to the west of Bega, adjacent to the Bega River. It consists of six bores aligned parallel to the river in a north-south direction. The bores are about 40 metres apart and 20 metres deep. Each bore has a submersible pump with a capacity of approximately 45 L/s. The bore pumps are operated sequentially, controlled by water level sensors 200 mm apart in High Street balance tank (old). Bore selection (ie. which bore pumps start first, second, third etc. when the levels in the balance tank drop to the sensor set points) is based on water quality considerations. There is variability in the concentration of iron and manganese between the bores.
The bore water is chlorinated and fluoridated as it flows into High Street balance tank (new) in Bega. Water from High Street balance tank (new) balances with High Street balance tank (old) from where it is pumped to South Bega reservoirs and then reticulated to Bega, North Bega, Tarraganda, Kalaru, Tathra and Mogareeka. Daily extraction volumes range from 3.0 megalitres per day (ML/d) to 7.0 ML/d.
The Bega-Tathra water supply system has adequate capacity to serve existing and future demand, as the bores are located in a large alluvial aquifer at the lower end of the largest catchment in the Shire. Upstream water extraction for irrigation and other uses can cause the Bega River to stop flowing at Bega during drought and dry summer periods. During these no flow times, water extracted from the bores and by nearby irrigation pumps, causes a localised drawdown of water level around the borefield. However management measures, including groundwater level monitoring and groundwater level triggers to reduce groundwater extraction, ensure a secure and continued supply of water to the system.
The Water-Sharing Plan for the Bega and Brogo Rivers contains prescriptive information about flows and extraction, including extraction from the Bega borefield.
There are currently no water restrictions in place. For details on water restrictions and trigger levels in the Bega Valley Shire Council water supply area please visit http://www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/Your_Council/Policies/procedures/2-4-1e.pdf.