Water supply issues have eased for a remote Northern Territory community although the local aquifer and borefield will only supply enough for another 18 months.
Northern Territory Power and Water says it is continuing to investigate the long-term supply for Yuelamu, about 300 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs.
Earlier this year, it found the groundwater used by the town of just over 200 people was reaching a critically low level.
But following investigations and testing, and changes to how the bores are operated, it's estimated the field can produce water for another 18 months.
"This response, along with demand management activities including finding and fixing leaks in the community, has eased the situation in the short to medium term," Power and Water Senior Manager Kylie Climie said.
"That means there is now no immediate risk of service failure for the residents of Yuelamu."
Lowering bore pumps by a few metres and interchanging bore use and flow rates have been effective in maintaining water supply.
Through real-time data monitoring of the water supply network and the operation of smart meters, leaks and high water use are also easier to identify and rectify.
Medium to long-term options to supply the community include surface water treatment measures and alternative groundwater sources.
"Residents of Yuelamu are already extremely efficient with their water use and reporting leaks in their homes and we really appreciate their commitment to minimise waste of water in the community," Ms Climie said.
"We now have valuable time to continue investigating and implementing a longer term solution to deliver a secure and safe supply of drinking water to Yuelamu."
Australian Associated Press
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