Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu
Victoria Minister for Water Peter Walsh
Water Restrictions Eased For Melbourne To Allow Watering Everyday Of The Week
Victor P Taffa
Premier Ted Baillieu and Minister for Water Peter Walsh today announced the easing of Melbourne water restrictions.
Premier Baillieu said Melbourne’s water customers would have more flexibility and choice with their outdoor water use with the ending of Stage 1 water restrictions on 1 December 2012.
“From 1 December 2012 Victorians will be able to use their sprinkler watering system on any day of the week between 6 pm and 10 am. Hand held hoses with a trigger nozzle can also be used on any day of the week at any time.” Premier Baillieu said.
“Melbourne’s water storages have now recovered to 81.3 % the highest they have been at this time of year since 30 November 1996.”
Mr. Walsh said at the current storage level, Melbourne was able to ease water restrictions and maintain efficient water practices under Permanent Water Use Rules.
“This will be the first time since 2006 that Melbourne has reverted to Permanent Water Use Rules.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The Thomson Dam, our drought reserve which accounts for almost two-thirds of Melbourne’s total storage capacity, is today at 76.5 %. This time last year it was at 52.9 %.
“Melbourne’s water customers can be congratulated for their part in keeping our storages high by continuing to use water at historically low levels, despite the easing of restrictions since the end of the decade-long drought.”
Mr. Walsh said these rules were consistent across the whole of Victoria, helping to lock in water efficiency.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is implementing the Living Victoria policy to drive generational change with respect to how we think about and use water in our cities and towns.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Living Victoria is focused on improving the integration of water and urban planning to increase the use of alternative water sources for non-drinking purposes.”
“In turn this will decrease pressure on Melbourne’s precious drinking water supplies.”
“Recycling stormwater and waste water also reduces pollution entering waterways such as the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.”
“The successful implementation of Living Victoria will reduce Melbourne’s future needs for costly new infrastructure such as the desalination plant.” Mr. Walsh said.
The decision to remove Stage 1 Water Restrictions was made based on the 2012 Water Outlook.
The Water Outlook considers factors such as dam levels, weather and catchment conditions and trends in demand, to inform decisions on water supply and predict demand over the coming year.
Under Permanent Water Use Rules, Victorians can:
- Water residential or commercial gardens or lawns using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle at any time, on any day of the week hand-held hoses must be in good condition and leak free
- Water residential and commercial gardens and lawns with a watering system only between 6 pm and 10 am on any day
- Water public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces with a watering system between 6 pm and 10 am on any day of the week. Councils and sporting clubs may choose to water under a Water Use Plan instead which provides the flexibility to water when most appropriate, while ensuring water is used efficiently
- Operate fountains and water features that recirculate water
- Only clean paved areas for health and safety reasons or to remove stains once a season, using either a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or a high pressure cleaning device.