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Water restrictions

John Keogh In Flood 2013 MNPC

Level 1 water restrictions started in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra from 1 June 2019.

The restrictions have been introduced by the NSW Government to protect Sydney’s water supply from drought conditions.

Under the Level 1 water restrictions residents and businesses are not able to:

  • use standard sprinklers and watering systems at any time
  • leave hoses running unattended
  • wash vehicles and buildings with a hose that isn’t fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment
  • clean hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and paved areas with a hose as part of general clean.

Water restrictions are enforceable and penalties apply. There will be a three-month grace period before fines apply. Fines will not be issued until after 1 September 2019.

To find out more, visit Sydney Water 

Saving water in the home

In Sydney, around 1500 megalitres of water is supplied to 1.7 million homes and businesses each day.

Households use most of this, around 70%. The rest is used by businesses and government.

This is how we use water at home:

  • Bath 3%
  • Basin 3%
  • Kitchen 10%
  • Laundry 16%
  • Shower 20%
  • Toilet 23%
  • Outdoors 25%

To better understand how much water you use around the home, try this simple experiment.

  1. Hold an empty 1-litre milk carton under a running tap.
  2. Time how long it takes to fill.
  3. Compare this with the time the tap is running when you wash your hands, brush your teeth or have a shower.
  4. Calculate how many litres of water used if you run the tap while doing these activities. Keep this in mind next time you turn on the tap.

If we all do our bit and save a little, it will make a big difference across NSW. 

Saving water in the garden
  • Watering - in the morning and evening instead of the heat of the day, and aim for the roots not the leaves
  • Paths and driveways - use a broom to clean up leaves, grass clippings, dirt, dust or litter.
  • Swimming pool - use a cover.
Saving water in the bathroom
  • Taps - make sure they aren't left dripping, and never turn the tap on too far.
  • Toilets - use the half-flush.
  • Taps - turn off the tap when brushing teeth, and install a water efficient tap or aerator.
  • Sink - use the plug to rinse when shaving.
  • Showers - install a water efficient shower head, and have quicker showers.
Saving water in the kitchen and laundry
  • Sink - use a plug when washing food or dishes.
  • Taps - install a water efficient tap or aerator.
  • Dishwashers and washing machines - wait for a full load, and when it's time to replace, choose a more water efficient model.
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