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New $550 fines for water wasters

This could be illegal in days. Images: Getty

The NSW Government will take water restrictions to the next level in December as the state grapples with a major water crisis. 

Premier Gladys Berejikilian said that due to the rapid rate of decline of dam levels the next level of water restrictions, the toughest in a decade, will apply from 10 December.

The new restrictions usually only apply when dam levels drop to 40 per cent, but these restrictions will be in place from when levels drop to 45 per cent. 

“We’re experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record and we expect introducing level two restrictions to save 78.5 gigalitres of water per year,” she said.

The new restrictions mean Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra residents will be required to use a bucket when watering their gardens and may only water their gardens before 10am and after 4pm. 

Breaking any of these restrictions will land businesses with $550 fines, and individuals with $220 fines. 

Additionally, cars may only be washed using a bucket or at a commercial car wash. And people topping up pools and spas may only use a trigger nozzle and for 15 minutes a day. 

“We’re doing the work to save as much drinking water as we can to ensure there is enough if the drought persists,” Water Minister Melinda Pavey said. 

“Businesses who rely upon outdoor water use as part of their operations need to get an exemption. If a business applied for and received a permit under the previous level of restrictions, they’ll need to contact Sydney Water to confirm it’s still valid.”

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