Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra will soon experience Level 2 water restrictions from 10 December to continue to protect Greater Sydney’s water supply from drought conditions.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Water Melinda Pavey announced the restrictions will take effect when the dam levels in the region reach 45 per cent which is expected around mid-December. To give the community certainty, the water restrictions will be in place from 10 December.
Ms Berejiklian said dam levels are currently close to 46 per cent and continue to drop every week.
“Usually, we would expect to have Level 2 water restrictions come into effect when dam levels reached 40 per cent. But given the rapid rate of decline of our dam levels we have decided to enact the next level of restrictions sooner than planned,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record and we expect introducing Level 2 restrictions to save 78.5 gigalitres of water per year.
“We all need to do our bit to ensure we are using water wisely and these restrictions will help secure water for Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra.”
More than 85 per cent of Greater Sydney’s water is supplied by captured rainfall and because of the current drought dam levels have reached the lowest levels seen since the Millennium drought.
Under the new Level 2 water restrictions people will be required to use a bucket or watering can to water their gardens between approved times, cars can only be washed with a bucket or taken to a commercial car wash and topping up of pools and spas is limited to 15 minutes a day with a trigger nozzle.
Ms Pavey said the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted another hot summer ahead with on-going dry conditions. “We’re doing the work to save as much drinking water as we can to ensure there is enough if the drought persists,” Ms Pavey said.
“Businesses who rely upon outdoor water use as part of their operations need to get an exemption. If a business applied for and received a permit under the previous level of restrictions, they’ll need to contact Sydney Water to confirm it’s still valid.”
Fines will still apply for breaches of water restrictions – $220 for residential breaches and $550 for businesses.