NSW to ease water restrictions after heavy rains

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 20, 2020

"We recently experienced the biggest rain event in 20 years, which has impacted the quality of raw water in Greater Sydney's bushfire affected catchment", New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said.

Water restrictions in Greater Sydney are expected to be relaxed to Level 1 on the 1 of March as Sydney Dam levels reach 80 per cent following recent rainfall.

"Whilst this event has been so amazingly welcome, we haven't had an event like it for 20 years", Ms Pavey said on Tuesday.

The change will also be implemented across the Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.

Reports can be made via the Sydney Water website.

"A number of initiatives are in place to ensure the water is safe for use, including extensive testing, filtration and nets to catch debris, but we are allowing an extra two weeks purely as a precautionary measure", Pavey said.

But NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said it was hard to know the impact in two weeks' time of less oxygen in Warragamba Dam.

The previous time Sydney entered level two water restrictions was during the Millennium Drought.

The Warragamba Dam, which supplies about four-fifths of Sydney's water, is now more than 80% full - up more than a third in just the last week - and at its highest level since January 2018.

Sydney's main Warragamba dam is at 80.3%, which is nearly 20 percentage points higher than a week ago.

The rainfalls have also brought a much-welcomed boost to the country's dam reserves.

Some 200mm of rain fell in the catchment in the past week alone.

Level-one restrictions mean residents can only water their gardens with a bucket or watering can during approved times.

Under level one restrictions, Sydney residents will be able to hose the garden but can not wash cars or buildings without a trigger nozzle.

Individuals found to be breaking the restrictions could face fines of $220.

Ms Pavey said the state government would continue addressing water supply security, including a focus on drought conditions in the state's west.

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