Back off hose: Sydney facing serious water restrictions from next week

Pablo Tucker
May 30, 2019

New South Wales, home to about a third of Australia's 25 million people and its biggest city Sydney, population 4.5 million, last imposed water restrictions in 2009.

It's been nearly 10 years since Sydney faced water restrictions with the last ones lifted in mid-2009.

As water storage levels continue to plumment amid NSW's ongoing drought, the Berejiklian government has chose to bring in level one water restrictions ahead of schedule.

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey tells Ben Fordham they have activated the restrictions a month early.

A truck stirs up dust on a road behind a dam on farmer May McKeown's drought-affected property located on the outskirts of the northwestern New South Wales town of Walgett in Australia, July 19, 2018.

"It is going to rain again". Levels have fallen dramatically since April 2017 when they were at 96% combined capacity. Both households and businesses can only water lawns and gardens with a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle before 10am and after 4pm.

Sydney's desalination plant at Kurnell was switched on January, when dam levels dropped below 60%.

"The Bureau of Meteorology's latest forecast is predicting below-average rainfall and higher temperatures for June to August, which are key drivers of stronger water demand", Ms Pavey said in a statement.

You'll also need a permit to fill a new pool greater than 10,000 litres.

At this stage, it is unclear exactly what water use will be restricted.

Those caught doing the wrong thing can be fined up to $220, and businesses flouting the rules face $550 fines.

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