Level 1 water restrictions are likely to be in place from 1 March.

Level 2 water restrictions are currently in place and will be eased due to the current dam levels.

Businesses will need an exemption if they need to use water outdoors outside of what’s allowed under level 1 restrictions. If you have a current exemption or have already applied, you do not need to reapply.

Please remember we still need to do our bit to save water.

FIND OUT MORE

We are now in severe
Level 2 restrictions

Severe water restrictions are in place across Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

If your business uses water
outdoors, you will need to
apply for an exemption

Water restrictions target outdoor drinking water use. If your business relies upon water use as part of its 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 or if you can operate within the current restrictions.

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

For more information see our FAQs below.

Apply Now
Be part of the solution
or face a $550 fine
Icon gardens
Water gardens before 10am and after 4pm

If your business involves watering gardens or lawns, you may only do so with a watering can or bucket unless you have an exemption. For more specific information on lawns please see our FAQs below.

Icon sprinklers
Use smart watering systems before 10am and after 4pm

Your business can only use drip or smart irrigation systems for fifteen minutes a day before 10am and after 4pm unless you have an exemption.

Icon topping up
Pools can only be topped up for 15 minutes per day

Your business can only top up pools for 15 minutes per day and must use a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle unless you have an exemption. For more specific information on pools please see our FAQs below.

Icon hosing
Hosing of hard surfaces is not permitted

Your business can't hose hard surfaces like paths or driveways unless there is an emergency or for health and safety reasons unless you have an exemption.

Icon refill pool
You can only empty or refill a pool with a permit

Your business can only empty or refill your pool or spa if you have a permit from Sydney Water.

Icon car washing
Washing your commercial vehicle

You can only wash your commercial vehicle using a bucket or sponge. If you are a commercial car wash, please apply for an exemption.

FAQS

From December 10, Level 2 restrictions apply. From this date you can be fined up to $550 for not complying.

If your business relies on water outdoors, you need a permit. Examples of businesses include landscape gardeners, commercial car washes and pool maintenance businesses.

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.

As a condition of your exemption, you may be a required to create a Water Use Plan.

When you apply for a water restrictions exemption for your business, you’ll see the conditions for your industry on the form. If these conditions include developing a water use plan, we’ll give you a form to help you develop one.

A water use plan helps you assess your current water use and identify areas where your business can save water. It sets out the actions you’ll commit to, and the timeframe in which you aim to achieve them. It details the major water uses at your site and should include the conditions you’ll comply with as a condition of your Level 2 exemption.

All Water Use Plans need to be agreed to and approved by Sydney Water.

An eligible business will have an ABN/ACN.

There will be rules attached to the type of water use you’re seeking an exemption for i.e. watering times, methods or procedures. There could also be a baseline level of water efficiency required to securing an exemption. These will be tailored to the type of water use you are seeking an exemption for.

Sydney Water will review exemptions on a case-by-case basis and may refer to industry experts for best-practice advice when assessing any exemption application.

No, you can apply any time. Be mindful that you need to allow some time to have your exemption considered, permit and sticker issued. Once you’re applied for your exemption, please continue to use water sensibly until you receive your permit. Fines apply for businesses using water outdoors without a permit in place.

Each level of water restrictions has its own exemptions, which may be different from that of previous levels.

If you already have a permit for Level 1 restrictions, we'll contact you by mid January 2020 to let you know if you need to re-apply or if we'll be sending a new exemption permit and stickers automatically. In the meantime, you can continue using water under the conditions of your level 1 permit.

We understand that sports fields are an important part of community life. Exemptions are available to maintain sports fields and playing surfaces. We'll consider each application on a case-by-case basis and conditions will apply.

If you don't have a current exemption permit, you'll need to a​pply for a water restrictions exemption for your business ​here.

As a supplier, you will need to email us on behalf of your customers with the details (owner's name, capacity, property address, proposed filling date and your business water restrictions exemptions permit number) to receive a one-off pool/spa filling permit for your customer’s pool. They'll need to have an approved pool cover or lockable spa cover in use to be eligible for a permit. Apply for a permit here.

Businesses that clean residential pools will need to apply for a permit that covers their cleaning activities. You will need to complete a pool filling application for each pool you fill as they are specific to the address of the pool. Pool covers are required for each address and are a condition of the permit.

If you don't have a current exemption permit, you'll need to a​pply for a water restrictions exemption for your business ​here.

During restrictions you can wash your cars, trucks or vans only if you have received a business exemption.If you don't have a current exemption permit, you'll need to a​pply for a water restrictions exemption for your business ​here.

  • Recycled water (supplied in some parts of Sydney from purple pipes).
  • Greywater (water that's collected after being used in washing machines, sinks and showers etc).
  • Rainwater (as long as the tank/dam isn't topped up from, or switched to, the drinking water supply).
  • Bore water (some government restrictions apply).
  • River water (you need to have a licence).

If you see someone deliberately misusing water, you can ​make a report about water restrictions​ here. Level 2 restrictions currently apply. Please check what's allowed before you submit a report as some exclusions apply to the water restrictions and many non-residential customers will have an exemption permit.

Our Community Water Officers will follow up on any reports we receive and can issue fines of $220 for individuals or $550 for businesses.

Be a part of the solution

It’s not just your business that can help. Please share this with family and friends and together we can all do our part to protect Sydney’s water.