Costa Tomatoes general manager Michael Engeman has moved to reassure residents the business was doing its utmost to conserve local water supplies, saying he shared the local community's serious concerns about the current water situation affecting the Armidale and Guyra areas within the Armidale Regional Council.
"Although our newer 10 hectare glasshouse on the New England Highway is water self-sufficient, our original 20 hectare glasshouse located at Elm Street, does rely on using mains town water," he said.
"In recent months Costa has undertaken a major upgrade to the irrigation drain water capture system and storage capacity operating at our Elm Street tomato glasshouse in order to reduce the need to use town water.
"There was also a doubling of recycled drain water storage capacity and the installation of a pre filtration system. This investment is expected to save up to 140 megalitres of drain water per annum and increase Costa's drain water recycling rate from 70 per cent to 100 per cent.
Mr Engeman said Costa was not about to rest upon its water saving laurels.
"Costa will continue to look for ways in which we can increase our capacity to become water self-sufficient at our Elm Street site, this includes improving the capacity of the site to capture and store more rain water so as to reduce our usage of town water," he said.
"With more than 90 per cent of our 600 strong workforce living in the local Guyra/Armidale area, we are very much aware of people's concerns when it comes to water usage and security."
Mayor Simon Murray said less than a year's supply of water remained and council thought it was a crisis.