Dubbo Water Crisis: Changes to level four restrictions explained

Lawns and gardens can be watered for a maximum of 30 minutes on Wednesdays and Sundays. Photo: FILE
Lawns and gardens can be watered for a maximum of 30 minutes on Wednesdays and Sundays. Photo: FILE

Evaporative air conditioners can be used at any time of the day and showers do not have to be limited under new changes to the level four water restrictions.

On Monday night Dubbo Regional Council voted to changed what had previously been in place under level four. The changes have come into affect immediately.

What has changed under level four?

  • Residents are able to water both their garden and lawns. Outdoor watering is permitted for a maximum of 30 minutes on Wednesdays and Sundays outside of 9am and 6pm.
  • Handheld hoses with an on/off trigger, water efficient drip systems and programmable watering systems are all allowed.
  • Evaporative air conditioners can be used at any time of the day or night. Previously, air con use was restricted to between 7am and midnight.
  • There's no time limit on the length of a shower. Under the old level four restrictions, showers at level four had to be limited to five minutes.
  • New turf can be watered to help it get established. Residents are encouraged to use suitable ground preparation with soil wetting agents. However, a turf watering plan must be submitted to council for approval.
  • Paved surfaces can be cleaned with a bucket.
  • Cars, boats and trailers can be cleaned with the use of a trigger hose at any time. Pressure washers can also be used.
  • Private pools can be topped up at any time.
  • The daily target per person per day has increased from 245 litres to 280 litres.

What is still not allowed?

  • The topping up or filling of water features can only be undertaken to maintain fish life. New water features cannot be filled.
  • Swimming pools can only be filled for the first time with the permission of council.

Why were changes made to the restrictions?

Dubbo Regional Council chief executive officer Michael McMahon said the revisions were made to the Drought Management Plan after feedback from the community and industry groups like the Dubbo Green Space Alliance.

"The adjustments that have been made are far easier to understand, they are contemporary and consider new technologies that the existing Drought Management Plan had not," he said.

What happens if I don't comply?

Council staff will be monitoring the LGA. For those who are found to breach the restrictions, on the spot fines of $220 can be issued.

Residents can also report water restriction breaches on the council website..

Where can I find out more?

Information can be found on the 'Dubbo Water Crisis' section of the Daily Liberal website or through Dubbo Regional Council's water restriction hub.

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