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Ongoing Water Restrictions in Sydney

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Water Restrictions

The effect of the increasing population has resulted in a growing demand for water supplies. Together with low rainfall, Sydney is experiencing a shortage of supply of water.

The daily average residential consumption of water in Sydney is 210 liters per person — thirty per cent higher than Melbourne’s average consumption. In effect, water restrictions are strictly enforced across Sydney.

Sydney is now on level 2 water restrictions which means;

  • You can only use a watering can or bucket to water your garden before 10 am and after 4 pm.
  • You can only use drip irrigation or smart watering systems for a maximum of 15 mins a day per watering zone, before 10 am and after 4 pm.
  • 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.
  • You can only do this to replace water lost through evaporation, not to replace water deliberately removed from the pool or spa.
  • You can only wash your vehicles with a bucket and sponge – not with a hose.

There are exclusions and exemptions that apply to the current water restrictions, these are:

Excluded types of water

  • Recycled water – This is cleaned wastewater and goes through Sydney’s purple pipes. It is generally used for watering gardens and flushing toilets.
  • Greywater – This is a by-product of cleaning. Usually from sinks, shower and washing machine, it can be utilized to water garden and lawns.
  • Rainwater – The water that’s gathered and stored in tanks when it rains. Rainwater can be used for laundry and watering of gardens and livestock.
  • Bore water – The underground water that is collected by drilling bores in the ground.
  • River water – This water is sourced from rivers, but you will need to get a license before you can utilize it.

If you are thinking of laying a new lawn, you can still comply within the level 2 water restrictions.

Watering guide for new turf

  • Week 1: Water up to three times a day, for a maximum of 30 minutes each session, at any time of day.
  • Week 2 & 3: Water up to two times a day, for a maximum of 15 minutes each session. You can only water before 10 am and after 4 pm.
  • Week 4: Water before 10 am and after 4 pm, for a maximum of 30 minutes, on no more than three days during that week.
  • After week 4, you can only water your turf following the water restrictions. This means you can water before 10 am and after 4 pm with a bucket or watering can, or with a smart irrigation or drip irrigation system for a
    maximum of 15 minutes.

If after this time your turf isn’t established you can apply for an exemption at Sydney Water.

Water-saving tips

Most of the water that is used in Sydney is used at home. Being water efficient helps to ensure that there’s enough for everybody. Below are the things we can do to conserve water in your garden.

For existing and established lawns:

For existing lawns, a few simple steps should be taken to maintain a healthy green lawn .

  • Only water your lawn when it requires watering.
  • Mow your lawn higher than you would normal do to about 50 mm. This will help reduce evaporation of your ground moisture.
  • Encourage deeper roots by giving your lawn longer less frequent watering. This will enable your lawn to have a higher tolerance to dry conditions.
  • If rain is forecast wait a few extra days before you water your lawn and let nature do the work for you.
  • Watering your lawn and garden between 4 pm and 10 am will reduced evaporation from your irrigation
  • Hit two birds with one stone by washing your car on the lawn. Not only are you watering your turf, but the phosphates present in car shampoos also fertilizes the grass at the same time.
  • Winter up keep is also strongly recommended that way you will have a heathy lawn going into summer.

If you are preparing to install a new lawn:

Here are some things you need to consider before laying your new turf to make it as drought tuff as possible.

  • Choose a good quality turf underlay make sure it is not too sandy. As a sandy soil will not hold water.
  • Consider placing drip irrigation in the soil prior to laying your new turf. This will reduce evaporation when irrigating your new home lawn.
  • Spread water crystals on your turf underlay prior to laying your turf and rake them in evenly. The water crystals will retain water while the turf is getting watered and then will released this moisture overtime as the soil dries out.
  • When purchasing your new turf consider buying variety that has a better drought tolerance such as Kings Pride Soft Leaf Buffalo, Sapphire Soft Leaf Buffalo, a drought tolerant Couch variety or one of the new Zoysia we have in stock.

Did you know: By having a healthy lawn around your home you are dramatically reducing the ground temperature around your house. So not only does a green lawn look pleasing to the eye it is also helping the environment at the same time.

Small changes to the way you maintain your lawn during this time of drought means you can have a healthy lawn and abide by the enforced water restrictions.

 

References:

Sydney Water

Where can I get information about water restrictions?

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