Water Restrictions

As of June 2009, the NSW Government's Water Wise Rules have replaced water restrictions.

The Water Wise Rules are:

  • All hoses must now have a trigger nozzle.
  • Hand held hoses, sprinklers and watering systems may be used only before 10 am and after 4 pm on any day
  • Washing vehicles is allowed.
  • Fire hoses may be used for fire fighting activities only.
  • No hosing of hard surfaces such as paths and driveways.

The following are permitted at any time:

  • Using a bucket or watering can to wash and rinse vehicles or water lawns and gardens.
  • Filling a pool or topping up an existing swimming pool.
  • Using water from a rainwater tank, as long as it is not connected to or topped up with drinking water.
  • Using water to cool people or animals.
  • Using a hose with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning device to clean boat bilges and boat trailer brakes and wheels.
  • Using a hose to flush boat engines.
  • Cleaning garbage bins using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. This should, wherever possible, be done within an official bin wash area or on grass.

Sydney Water has further information on Water Wise Rules.


The Water Restrictions Patrol carries out random audits to make sure people comply with restrictions. Council Rangers have also been given the authority by State Government to issue Penalty Infringement Notices for breaching restrictions. Fines for breaching water restrictions are:

  • Individuals: $220 fine for every breach
  • Businesses: $550 fine for every breach
  • Water theft: $2200

Contesting a fine

To contest an Infringement Notice you can either write to Revenue NSW or exercise your right of appeal to the Downing Centre Local Court.