Science

Sydney hit with new water restrictions

Sydney hit with new water restrictions”

Individuals in Sydney can be fined up to A$220 (S$210) and businesses up to A$550 for leaving a hose running or using a sprinkler system to water their gardens.

New South Wales, home to about a third of Australia's 25 million people and its biggest city Sydney, population 4.5 million, last imposed water restrictions in 2009.

For the first time in more than a decade, Sydneysiders will face level-one water restrictions, with them kicking in on Saturday, June 1. Paths, driveways and other hard surfaces will only be permitted to be hosed down for safety, health, emergency, construction or surface discolouration reasons.

Dam levels are now at 53.6% which is technically still high enough to avoid water restrictions (once levels are below 50% restrictions are necessary). They are now at 53.5 per cent, but losing depth by 0.5 per cent each week, with no heavy rainfall in sight, triggering the restrictions prematurely.

Sydney's only desalination plant at Kurnell was turned on earlier this year. Water restrictions are an important drought response because they target the outdoor water use of all households.

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

The restrictions will come into force on Saturday, and will apply to everyone in Sydney itself, as well as the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

Introducing water restrictions at this time means the State Government has chose to go earlier than expected. This includes both residents and businesses.

Sydney water accessible volume over the last decade in decline.



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