Severe restrictions for Greater Sydney residents are in place

Check to see how Level 2 water restrictions apply to you

Why we need water restrictions as residents

With the drought getting worse, we need to closely watch how and when we use drinking water outdoors and indoors at home.

With little rainfall to replenish our dams across Greater Sydney, our water storage levels are extremely low.

Level 2 water restrictions are necessary to manage our low storage levels appropriately. We all must work together to reduce the consumption of drinking water wherever possible.

We must restrict our water usage to help us get through the drought period.

We all need to do our bit and save water. Together, we can make a big difference across Greater Sydney.

If you are a business in Greater Sydney find out what Level 2 restrictions apply to you here.

Learn More

What are the water restrictions?

Level 2 water restrictions apply to everyone 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. Hoses are not permitted at any time.
  • '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 per watering zone before 10am or after 4pm
  • The use of unattended hoses is not 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. You can only top up an existing pool or spa, using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering can or bucket for a maximum of 15 minutes a day.

Fines of $220 apply to individuals for not following water restrictions

If you see someone deliberately misusing water, you can make a report about water restrictions.

What’s excluded from water restrictions?

Types of water:

  • 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 (some government restrictions apply)
  • River water (you need to have a licence)

Uses of water excluded:

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

Find out more about Level 2 water restrictions on Sydney Water.


Special exemptions

Residential customers can’t normally apply for exemptions to water restrictions, but can apply for an exemption:

  • if they have special circumstances, or need to use water for medical, cultural or other important reasons.
  • to fill a new or renovated pool or spa.
  • to fill or top up a pond, lake or water feature that sustains aquatic life, is heritage-listed or needs to be run intermittently. Alternatively, you can use recycled water, grey water, rainwater or bore water to fill or top up your spa without needing to apply for an exemption.
  • to extend the four-week turf establishment period (if needed). To apply, please click on the link above and email your name, contact details, address where you’re establishing the turf, size of the turfed area and reason why you need to keep watering


How to save water at home

Water 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.