• Euchareena, a community of around 70 people and 15 houses, has no access to running water. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
One mother from a tiny NSW town is stressed and financially under pressure as she struggles to provide her family with running water.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
3 Sep 2019 - 7:01 PM  UPDATED 3 Sep 2019 - 7:01 PM

A small New South Wales community in the state's north west has said they are being ignored by their local council as their town’s water supply dwindles.

Euchareena, a community of around 70 people and 15 houses, sits around 100 kilometres south-east of Dubbo and currently has no access to running water.

Wiradjuri woman Fleur Magik Dennis told NITV News the town’s only dam dried up 18 months ago and since then the water pipes have been switched off.

She said the Dubbo Shire Council is ignoring her community's dire and desperate need for access to water.

“They are totally ignoring us… we have had no response from the Dubbo Council,” she said. “We are talking about families here that have no water.”

“We are in the same position as a third world community.”

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Water Delivery

Around 100 years ago, the community built their own water supply, meaning their access to water was the responsibility of the community and not the council.

Ms Dennis said that history shouldn’t stop their local council from offering a helping hand.

“To punish a community because of that fact is not OK,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that because someone donated a poor community piping over 100 years ago that therefore we are not eligible for help or support.”

Dubbo Shire Council chief executive Michael McMahon said the council was in the process of  "trying to find a solution.”

He said the council has made 20,000 litres of water available to all residence outside its water reticulation network, including Euchareena.

However, the council does not arrange or offer support for the water to be delivered.

NITV News understands it is currently seeking drought funding to help provide carting the water to the affected communities. 

“This is the responsibility of the property owner," said Mr mcMahon. "Water Carting is not in our Fees and Charges therefore cannot be offered up as a service."

To hire a provider to transport the water, Ms Dennis said any assistance by the council had yet to be seen in the Euchareena community and the price to have water transported privately was costing her family $450 a month.   

“This is just for our basic needs, such as flushing the toilet, having a shower, cooking, washing our clothes and drinking,” she said.

“If we don’t pay it, we don’t have water.”

There is now an online fundraiser to raise $50,000 before Christmas for the community to drill a bore, she said.  

“The fundraiser is going to show the local government and state government just how desperate our community is. We really need water running out of our taps.”

Despite residents from the NSW towns of Walgett and Bourke reporting their bore water from the Great Artesian Basin having elevated sodium levels, Ms Dennis said at this point they cannot afford to write-off any options. 

“Some communities are complaining about the bore water being too salty, but we can still use that to flush our toilets, to wash our clothes, to have a shower, to cook,”

“If we only have to buy drinking water we will be way better off than we are now.”  

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