Sydney imposes first water restrictions in decade

Warragamba Dam

Warragamba Dam

"Water restrictions in Sydney mean that households across NSW are doing their bit to conserve water".

Watering down hard surfaces like driveways with a garden hose.

Sydneysiders will face new water restrictions as dam levels continue to drop and NSW grapples with drought.

The New South Wales government said the water level in the Sydney area's reservoirs has been continuously declining since the 1940s and restrictions will be imposed from next week.

"I'm calling on the Water Minister Melinda Pavey to immediately impose Level 2 water restrictions on Sydney's residents".

The state has received less than 70 percent of its typical average rainfall since May 2017, according to meteorology bureau data. As well as outdoor water restrictions, people are encouraged to limit how much water they use at work and home.

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"Sydney Water does have a team of community water officers that will be out in the community giving advice on how to comply with water restrictions", Port said.

Sydney's desalination plant at Kurnell was switched on January, when dam levels dropped below 60%.

Following a grace period of three months, a penalty of $220 will apply for individuals found not abiding by the new rules, Sydney Water's Katherine Port said on Tuesday. Those using recycled water, grey water, rainwater and bore water are among those exempt from the restrictions.

The restrictions become compulsory when dam levels fall to 50 per cent but the state government has triggered them early.

More than 85% of Greater Sydney's water supply relies on rain.

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