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The restrictions apply to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. This includes all residents and businesses.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a hot summer, with no forecast for significant rain, so Level 2 water restrictions now apply.

Water restrictions target the outdoor use of drinking water, but there are some indoor water uses that are subject to restrictions, such as filling indoor swimming pools and water features, and operating car wash businesses in shopping centre car parks.

What’s changing from level 1 to level 2 restrictions?

The biggest changes:

  • You can only use a watering can or bucket to water your garden before 10 am and after 4 pm.
  • You can only use drip irrigation or smart watering systems for a maximum of 15 mins a day before 10 am and after 4 pm.
  • You can only top up an existing pool or spa, using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering can or bucket for a maximum of 15 minutes a day.  You can only do this to replace water lost through evaporation, not to replace water deliberately removed from the pool or spa.
  • The use of unattended hoses is no longer permitted.
  • You can only wash your vehicles with a bucket and sponge – not with a hose.
  • You need a permit to fill new or renovated pools and spas that hold more than 500 L.

What’s Allowed under level 2 water restrictions?

Watering lawns, gardens and sports fields

You can water lawns, gardens and sports fields before 10 am and after 4 pm using:

  • a watering can or bucket (you can water for any amount of time as long as it’s early in the morning or late in the afternoon)
  • drip irrigation systems for a maximum of 15 minutes a day per watering zone
  • ‘smart’ watering systems that include automated weather adjustment, a rain sensor or a soil moisture sensor for a maximum of 15 minutes a day per watering zone. These devices have special features that enable them to sense when a garden needs to be watered.

For more information regarding the water restrictions please click here

What should you do if your business is affected by water restrictions?

If your business relies on using water outdoors and you can’t follow the restrictions to continue your operations, you will need an exemption permit for each different site.

If you already have a permit for level 1 restrictions, Sydney Water will contact you by mid January to let you know if they will be sending a new exemption permit and stickers automatically, if your conditions will change or if you need to re-apply. In the meantime, you can continue using water under the conditions of your level 1 permit.

If you don’t have a current exemption permit, you will need to Apply for a water restrictions exemption for your business.


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