Severe water restrictions for businesses in Greater Sydney will be in place from 10 December

You must have a Level 2 water exemption permit if you use water outdoors and can’t comply with the restrictions. There are some indoor water uses that are subject to restrictions.

Apply for a water exemptions permit

Water restrictions target outdoor water use. If your business relies upon water use as part of its operations and can’t comply with the restrictions, you’ll need to apply for an exemption.


There are some indoor water uses that are also subject to restrictions, such as car washing in a shopping centre car parks, operation of pools in gyms and swimming centres and water features or fountains. If your business has these operations, you’ll need to apply for an exemption.

Your business doesn't need to apply for an exemption if the water you use isn't drinking water.

If you already have a permit for level 1 restrictions, we'll contact you by mid December to let you know if you we'll be sending a new exemption permit and stickers automatically, if your conditions will change or if you need to re-apply.

Businesses need to apply for a Level 2 water exemption permit by the 31 January 2020.

Please complete the application in the link below and one of our team will contact you to secure your permit.

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What are the water restrictions for businesses?

Level 2 water restrictions apply to businesses in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

  • You can only water your garden before 10am or after 4pm with a watering can or bucket
  • 'Smart' watering systems that include automated weather adjustment, a rain sensor or a soil moisture sensor and drip irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes before 10am or after 4pm
  • The use of unattended hoses is no longer permitted
  • Hosing of hard surfaces is not permitted, unless in an emergency or for health and safety reasons
  • You can wash your car with a bucket or at a commercial car wash
  • You will need a permit before filling a pool over 500L

Fines of $550 apply to businesses for not following water restrictions

Water restrictions exclusions

Types of water excluded from Level 2 water restrictions:

  • Recycled water (supplied in some parts of Sydney through purple pipes)
  • Greywater (water from sinks, showers, washing machines etc)
  • Rainwater (as long as the tank/dam isn't topped up from, or switched to, the drinking water supply)
  • Bore water

Uses of water excluded:

  • Water used for firefighting, testing and related activities
  • Water used for dust suppression

Find out more about water restrictions on Sydney Water.

Find out more

Water saving tips

Restrictions help us save water, but there are many other ways to save indoors and outdoors.

For more information on water saving tips, visit our tips page.

SEE TIPS