Sydney hit with harshest water restrictions in over a decade - so what do they mean for you?

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Sydney will face its strictest water restrictions in over a decade as the ongoing drought continues to cripple the state’s water levels.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday that Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawara regions will be placed on Level Two restrictions on December 10 – the highest restrictions since the Millennium drought.

“Usually, we would expect to have level-two water restrictions come into effect when dam levels reached 40 per cent. But given the rapid rate of decline of our dam levels (currently 46 per cent), we have decided to enact the next level of restrictions sooner than planned,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

Sydney will face its toughest water restrictions since the Millennium drought. Source: Getty

“We’re experiencing one of the most severe droughts on ­record and we expect introducing level-two restrictions to save 78.5 gigalitres of water per year.”

It was only in June that Sydney was introduced to Level One restrictions, with Level Two initially predicted to be enforced in February.

How much water can I use under Level Two water restrictions?

The latest restrictions will mean people will only be able to water their gardens with a watering can or bucket between approved times.

Previously under Level One, Sydney Water allowed use of a hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle before 10am and after 4pm.

Cars can only be washed with a bucket or at a commercial car wash.

Pools and spas can only be filled for 15 minutes a day, and only using a trigger nozzle.

The restrictions apply to water supplied to properties that residents can access through taps.

Greywater – water already used in sinks, showers and washing machines – is excluded, as is collected rainwater and bore water.

Hosing hard surfaces such as paths, driveways, cars, floors and buildings will be banned.

What is the fine for breaching Sydney’s water restrictions?

Anyone found not obeying the restrictions can face a hefty fine.

Residents in breach of Level Two restrictions can cop a fine of $220 while businesses will be forced to pay $550.

NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey has urged anyone who is aware of someone not adhering to the rules to speak up.

Residents are able to report someone by notifying Sydney Water via their website.

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