25 September 2023

Drought taps into water restrictions

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Sydney Water has announced that Level One water restrictions are now in force in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

In a statement, the utility said the restrictions had been introduced to protect Sydney’s water supply from drought conditions.

Under the new restrictions, residents and businesses are not able to use standard sprinklers and watering systems at any time; they cannot leave hoses running unattended or wash vehicles and buildings with a hose that isn’t fitted with a trigger nozzle or use high pressure cleaning equipment.

In addition they are not allowed to clean hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and paved areas with a hose as part of general cleaning.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey said restrictions were enforceable and penalties would be applied.

“Fines of $220 will apply to individuals and $550 for businesses who don’t follow the restrictions. There will be a three-month grace period before fines apply, so fines will not be issued until after 1 September,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Exemptions will be available for non-residential customers with outdoor water use as their core business.”

She said Sydney was experiencing some of the lowest inflows into its dams since the 1940s.

“The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest forecast is for below-average rainfall and higher temperatures for June to August, which are key drivers of stronger water demand,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Regional NSW has been experiencing a record drought. Water restrictions in Sydney mean that households across NSW are doing their bit to conserve water.”

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