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Sydney Water Wise Guidelines 1 December 2020


As of Tuesday 1 December 2020, the NSW Government has announced that Water Wise Guidelines have replaced Level 1 restrictions that were implemented in March 2020.

This applies to all residents and businesses in the Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra areas.

Just because the restrictions have eased though, we should still be watering smarter, not harder!

Let's stay water wise.


Under the guidelines, you can use Sydney mains drinking water to:

  • water lawns and gardens before 10am and after 4pm, using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, sprinklers or standard watering systems;
  • water new turf and gardens at anytime for up to 28 days;
  • water lawns and gardens with drip irrigation systems or 'smart water systems'^ at any time;
  • top up pools and spas to replace water lost through evaporation;
  • fill new or renovated pools and spas;
  • wash vehicles with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment;
  • clean buildings (incl. windows, walls and gutters) with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment; and
  • cool people or animals.


In any of the situations above, you cannot:

  • allow water to run off onto hard surfaces;
  • leave taps and hoses running unattended; and
  • allow pools or spas to overflow when being filled.

^A ‘smart watering system’ is a system that's controlled by a device that responds to changes in weather and/or water demand from sensors. They are programmed to automatically adjust watering patterns based on weather and soil conditions. These watering programs must be optimised for local conditions and aimed at helping your plants survive the summer heat rather than growth.

Source: Sydney Water - Water Wise Guidelines 1 December

Sydney Water Tips

Tips to stay water wise in your home

  • Shorten your showers! 
    It's the best way to save water everyday in your home.
  • Load your washing machine and dishwater completely full before you turn it on
  • Shut off your tap while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Wash your veggies and rinse your dishes in a plugged sink or basin - not a running tap.
  • Install a water saving showerhead and water efficient taps (WELS 4-star rated).
    This will also save your energy bills!
  • Check your plumbing at home and fix any leaks that are wasting water ASAP.
    One leaky tap can waste up to 2,000L a month!!

Tips to stay water wise in your garden

  • Clean your driveways with a broom or rake - not your garden hose!
  • Use soils and plants that suit the climate in your area
  • Apply 7-10cm of mulch around your plans to reduce water lost through evaporation
  • Rid your garden of weeds regularly - they soak up the water you intend for your plants!
  • Group your plants with similar needs to ensure they get the right watering and no wastage.

See the Sydney Water website for more details.

Source: Sydney Water - Water wise tips

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  • Kiah Davey

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